NBC Will Cease Broadcasting By The Year 2048


No not really.

But for months if not years NBC News has relied on an erroneous statistic that suggested the oceans would be empty of fish by 2048. A statistic that was in error, an error that NFI brought to NBC’s attention but instead of doing their due diligence in researching the evidence we provided them they sent us a statement that claimed the 2048 statistic was, “both a fair and accurate representation of fisheries and fisheries science.”

Well, as I have been telling them for months the statistic is not a fair or accurate representation of fisheries or fisheries science and last Thursday the original author of the statistic finally publicly agreed.

With that on that record I contact NBC’s Senior Producer for Standards and Practices as well as the Executive Producer of NBC Nightly News and reporter Anne Thompson. Here’s the email I sent:

From: Gavin Gibbons
Sent: Thursday, July 30, 2009 3:01 PM
To: (NBC Universal)
Subject: RE: NBC Nightly News 04.20.09

Dear Ms. Meadows,

Per our past interaction on this topic please note this Associated Press story from 30min ago. This story reports, as I mentioned to you on April 23rd, that the author of the study you all referenced that suggested the world’s major fisheries would collapse by 2048 is publishing a new study tomorrow that states, as I stated, that fish stocks “won’t be disappearing after all” and “that our oceans are not a lost cause.”

I assume NBC will be reporting on this development.A development I mentioned would be happening and would stand in contrastto your network’s reporting nearly 4 months ago.

Gavin Gibbons

As best I can tell NBC News posted this Associated Press story on the statistical about face on its MSNBC website but did little else on the issue. Even the New York Times editorialized about it today reporting that fisheries were “Back from the Brink.”

NBC’s original response to NFI when we first told them about the problems inherent in reporting on this false static was both sanctimonious and in itself erroneous. Now, nestled high atop 30 Rock, it appears the peacock network is content to plug it’s ears, hum loudlyand go on about its business pretending it didn’t make a mistake and didn’t fail to research its story properly.

But we all know it wasn’t just a simple failure of research that put NBC in this position. We did the research for them and tied it up with a nice little bow.It was the worst kind of sensationalism that has permeated that newsroom. Even in the face of facts NBC decided the scary headline was more important than accuracy.

Oh and… we told ya so.