Monday, November 07, 2005

Latest riots: Monday or Tuesday?

Somebody either at Reuters or the Washington Post is a little confused about the International Dateline, or else they are trying so hard to be timely with their coverage that they have outsmarted themselves.

In a story linked on Drudge that is bylined

By Paul Carrel
Monday, November 7, 2005; 7:43 PM

the Washington Post then declares:

PARIS (Reuters) - Youths rioted for a 12th night in France on Tuesday and the government announced plans to impose curfews in the rundown suburbs hit by the violence.

Rioters torched cars in the suburbs of Paris, the southwestern city of Toulouse and in Lille and Strasbourg in the north, defying a pledge by Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin for his conservative government to take a firm line against them.

The problem? It's not Tuesday yet.

If the writer was in France, it was obviously still Monday night. How could he say 12th night on Tuesday?

Even if the time-stamp was for Washington, D.C., it's just barely Tuesday in Paris, and it's not night. It's officially morning. Yeah, you could say that because it's dark outside it is Tuesday NIGHT, but that's not accurate reporting and it is in an American newspaper where once we tried to do better.

Catch the confusion two paragraphs later:

Initial reports suggested Tuesday's riots were less severe than those on Monday when youths shot at police and torched more than 1,400 cars in the worst violence since the unrest began on October 27.
Does he mean that the riots that have taken place for the last 43 minutes are less severe than those that took place just before midnight?

Or is he forecasting the riots of the coming night?

Oh, it's a nasty business, this trans-atlantic journalism, and not one for the weak of stomach.


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