Thursday, February 23, 2006

NPR: Not Powder-savvy Radio

I woke up this morning to what may have been the stupidest ski/snowboard story I have ever heard on the radio.
NPR had this story:
Morning Edition, February 23, 2006 · Studies show that winter sports can be particularly dangerous for the occasional participants. Injuries and fractures are high among skiers and snowboarders who visit the slopes only a few times a year.

It basically started out with reporter Allison Aubrey talking to two SPORES (silly people on rental equipment) about how dangerous the radical sport of snowboarding is, and how much youngsters don't care. It would have been an acceptable story in 1995, but there is nothing particularly new and dangerous about snowboarding. If you are writing about safety in winter sports, you'll find that skiing is just as dangerous. Worse yet, Aubrey filed her story from Washington, D.C. We can only assume she drove a few hours to the tiny hills in West Virginia to do her reporting. Writing about skiing in West Virginia is like writing about the beach in Colorado. Bad idea.

OK, sure, NPR doesn't get out to the West very often. Pretty much just for wildfire stories. And when they do, the stories often lack subtlety, so we can't expect any of them to know anything about ski culture, but the story was so rambling and hackneyed that I sort of came away thinking Aubrey just did it so she could try snowboarding for a day.

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