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article imageOp-Ed: Accuracy in Reporting

By Viga Boland     Oct 10, 2012 in Technology
That cell phone you're constantly using contains toxic chemicals. While you may not have been aware of that, it's reassuring to know that for years now the major cell phone makers have been working hard to reduce the amount of toxicity in their phones.
Recently, a study done at ifixit.org established that the toxicity levels in the latest cell-phones are decreasing. But which cell phone maker came out on top?
According to the results published on their own website, the least toxic phone is the Motorola Citrus. It has a nice low toxicity level of only 2.56. Coming second is the iPhone 4S while the new iPhone 5 is in 5th place with a low toxicity level of 2.75.
So how did Apple's biggest competitor, the Samsung GalaxyS 111 do? Well if you were to believe this article published originally in the Detroit Free Press, and today republished by the Hamilton Spectator, the Samsung Galaxy S 111 came out on top. The article states that "Samsung had the best overall rating". A caption beneath the accompanying photo is even more specific:
"The Samsung Galaxy S III had the best overall rating among phones that contain toxic chemicals."
But wait! Something's not quite right here. Check back to the page with ifixit.org's results chart, and you will see that the Samsung Galaxy S 111 is actually in 9th place, not first place. As stated above, first place went to the Motorola Citrus. Worse yet, with a ranking of 2.99, the Samsung Galaxy S 111 falls into the medium, not low rating for toxicity.
The purpose of this op-ed is not to start yet another debate about which of the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy S 111 is the better cell phone. There's already too much argument over that. What this op-ed is about is the accuracy that any reader has the right to expect in a newspaper or online article. If the writer is going to report on the results of a study, it behooves him/her to get the facts straight. And since photos catch our eyes faster than words, those setting the captions underneath the photos also need to proof-read what's being said. This kind of inaccurate reporting is irksome. Readers have a right to expect better from the press.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
More about news reporting, toxins in cell phones, iphone 5, samsung galaxy s III