Sunday, May 07, 2006

Never trust what you hear, read or see in the media. Never.

Now contrast these statements:

WSJ authors: "But now a study shows the damage is far worse than expected"

MPAA spokeswoman, indirect discourse: "She says the numbers weren't far out of line with what the industry expected."

So which is it? Far worse or not far out of line? The Journal's "source" seems to be primarily interested in drama.

Of course, the drama steals focus from the real questions (by design?), including those relating to the study's methodology. Instead, we're to assume that these studies are trustworthy, and that is a huge assumption. Why? Because whether you're the Wall Street Journal or Ars Technica, you don't get to see the study. It's private. What you get to see are "summary" points which you're supposed to take on face value. I won't repeat everything that the press materials say, because you can read them for yourself (PDF). I do want to hit some highlights, however, and note some of the massively problematic gaps in the story that should have been raised by "reporters" across the country, but weren't.

The problem with MPAA's shocking piracy numbers

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