I’m even more honored to learn that we are in the category “misfits.”
Click the link on the top of our leftside rail to vote for us, though I should point out it does requiring logging in and setting up an account with the Sun — meaning not that you have to subscribe, only that they will probably bug you to later.
As I am a good week late learning of this competition, and as dogs don’t get to vote, I don’t hold out much hope of besting the other “misfits.”
But a respectable showing would be nice — at least topping, say, “The Baltimore Sewing Examiner.”
You can’t consume media these days without tripping over this story — roughly 240 Americans wind up in emergency rooms every day for sprains, fractures or other injuries from a fall caused by a dog or cat.
Researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said dogs and cats account for about 1 percent of the 8 million fall-related injuries that end up being treated in emergency rooms each year.
Yes, 1 percent. Why, then is it such a big story? I’ll tell you why. Partly because newspapers are becoming less likely to do their own work these days. They want to fill their newsholes as cheaply as they possibly can — so they rewrite, or use wire stories, which are often already rewrites. And bloggers? They’re even worse, rewriting the rewritten rewrites.
Just as a sentence gets screwed up the more times it’s repeated from one person to the next, so can news, or alleged news.
Here’s what Reuters reported: “Researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said dogs and cats account for 88 percent of all fall-related injuries in emergency departments.”
Some simple math: 87,000 falls a year is not 88 percent of 8 million.
What the CDC did report was that 88 percent of reported pet-caused falls were caused by dogs, but that’s entirely different from saying 88 percent of all falls were caused by pets.
If 88 percent of all falls leading to hospitalization were caused by pets, that would be a big story. One percent? That’s barely a story at all. Yet it’s everywhere.
Words, math, dogs –they’re all easy to trip over. But before we start portraying pets as a health hazard — and at this point I would ask how many of those falls were caused by dumb humans, as opposed to dumb animals — we might want to take steps to get the facts right and put them in perspective.
(Photo courtesy of ihasahotdog.com)
Posted by John Woestendiek March 31st, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: bloggers, cats, cdc, centers for disease control, coverage, dogs, emergency rooms, error, fall, falls, health, hospitals, injuries, journalism, media, news, news media, newspapers, ohmidog!, pets, report, study, trip