Friday, August 26, 2005

News anchors confuse "people" with "customers"

CNN just made the same mistake twice within one minute: they reported on the number of "people" without electricity, when they meant to report on the number of customers who lack power.

On "CNN Daybreak," the anchor intoned ominously that "1.3 million people in Florida are without power." She then moved to California, where rolling blackouts have caused power outages. Again, she said how many "people" are without power.

Get a clue, CNN. Electric utility companies count customers, not people. Customers are homes and businesses. If Florida Power and Light counts 1.3 million customers without power, the number of people in the dark is quite a bit higher.

Click to see full size screen shot.

What mystifies me is why news outlets make this same mistake over and over again -- after every hurricane or snowstorm.

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