The Detroit Free Press got to send its “pop music critic” (I swear, that’s his official title) on a tour of the Red Wings‘ new arena construction site this week, and you can read his report on how cool (the Red Wings say) it will be for concerts here. But really I just want to focus on its entry into the ongoing Bad Journalism Theater competition:
Joe Louis event-goers dogged by cramped concourses near concession spots and merchandise booths will find relief: The new arena will feature nearly double the number of purchase locations.
Sure, that reads like something the writer ripped from a press release and tacked an awkward transitional clause onto, but what is it even supposed to mean? “Cramped concourses” aren’t a function of how many purchase locations there are, they’re a function of, you know, cramped concourses. Unless the actual concourses themselves are more spacious — they certainly look nice on the renderings, but that doesn’t tell us much — putting the same number of people on twice as many lines in the same amount of space isn’t going to be any better, and leads to situations like this.
But really, the main lesson here is: Journalists, if you can’t fact-check your stats you get from press releases, at least sanity-check them. Even your mother could be bending the truth, after all.