Over at my home blog I have a recurring blog post ‘From the Silly News Desk’. This story out of Russia would definitely qualify.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russians visiting a health resort received a rude shock when a nurse used hydrogen peroxide instead of water to give them enemas.
Itar-Tass news agency reported Thursday that 17 tourists in the Caucasus spa town of Yessentuki had to be treated in hospital after the mix-up.
Sources at the sanatorium said the mistake was explained by water and hydrogen peroxide looking the same. Hydrogen peroxide, which can be used to bleach hair, is used as a disinfectant but should not be ingested.
This kind of medical carelessness would be worthy of a Knucklehead award except for one thing. Reuters doesn’t name the sanatorium.
Foreign news stories lacking names is common practice. Reuters does this all the time, and Associated Press is almost as bad. Why write a news story without naming people or firms? I don’t know about you, but the news becomes incomplete to me without this information. Isn’t the who, what, where, when, how, and why aka the 5 W’s still practiced by these journalists?
I’ve gotten around Reuters and AP’s name deletions in the past sometimes. Like in the story of Andrew Tilley, whose fame comes from shooting a rocket out of his buttocks. Or the case of Philippine thief Enrique Alcantara who while fleeing the police called a time out. In both cases I found a local news source that was willing to name names. The locals at least haven’t forgotten one of the fundamentals taught in Journalism 101.