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6 September, 2004

Are you sure?

BBC screenshotIn case the extracted screenshot is unclear, the third-ranked headline on this morning's BBC News home page was "Public 'want higher smoking age'".  As the summary explains (emphasis is mine):

The legal smoking age should be raised to 18 to stop young people taking up the habit, a BBC poll suggests.

However, a prominent item in the sidebar says:

Hard choices
A BBC poll suggests the public can't make up its mind over health.

If you follow either link, you'll find both articles do indeed refer to the same poll.

This means that the BBC ran the sensationalist tobacco story in a priority position on the home page in the full knowledge that the latter conclusion undermines the former, and without mentioning the potentially unreliable nature of the poll in the tobacco article itself.
Good headline; don't question whether it's meaningful.

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