Even Today, Reporters Need to Get the Story Right

By Jeremy Anwyl October 25, 2010

Last week I was writing about modern media.  A central idea was that even today, there is a need for reporters to get a story right. 

I did an interview last week that was triggered by a piece in Investors Business Daily.  The piece is a good example of getting the story wrong.

There are legitimate points in the article.  Should tax dollars be used to subsidize the sales of vehicles that feature favored technologies, for one?  (The article features the Volt, but there are dozens of vehicles that currently qualify—at least in theory—as you can see from this list.)

Where the article goes off the rails is when it goes after the Volt’s fuel economy claims.  The official EPA ratings are not yet available, but the article uses the findings of various publications.  What the article doesn’t bother to clearly point out is that these are figures showing possible mileage when the Volt is in gas mode; when the batteries are fully depleted.  This puts the vehicle in the worst possible light, as you are basically hauling around—at a minimum—a heavy set of batteries that are serving no purpose. 

I suppose if you purchased a Volt and never plugged it in, you could expect this kind of mileage.  But, really, how likely is that?

Now I understand that vehicles are complicated.  It is easy to get confused.  And that GM has set itself up for some of this by over-promising on a couple of the Volt’s key features. 

But this article comes off more as a rant than reporting.

You can read the IBD article here.

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