Good news is no news

I try to avoid public transport in large cities. Anything with two wheels that I control seems more reliable than anything with several wheels controlled by the city council. Nowhere is this more true than London. But if there’s one downside to cycling, it is that I can’t feed my secret addiction to freebie newspapers. London Lite if I have to, the LondonPaper if I feel like absorbing Rupert Murdoch’s inimitable charm, Metro for a good rant.

A snippet I found in one of the papers a couple of days ago caught my eye. It was a single paragraph in the news briefs. MRSA, the “superbug” that has been infecting and killing hospital patients, was down by over a third compared with a year earlier. That’s a remarkable achievement in a short time. Yet it merits a single paragraph in a side column in a throw-away paper. I’m prepared to bet that if MRSA cases had risen by 36%, the front pages would have been consumed by some “Superbug eats up Britain” variant headline, in 86 point type.

I guess “Government moves effectively to prop sky back up again” is never going to rival the sky-is-falling genre of journalism. But people stuck in commuter hell deserve the odd bit of redemption.

This post was published on 22/09/08 in Science.

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  1. Comment by BSE, 23/09/08, 07:28:

    Let me guess it was in the Metro… remember last year when they did all their scare guff about “The New HIV” on the Super MRSA story… if only they had printed the following days clarification in such a HUGE FONT!

    Agree about the two wheels in London… but you can never trust those black cabs either…

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