Media hype

Trip Start Jan 23, 2008
Trip End May 23, 2008

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Flag of Ecuador  ,
Thursday, March 27, 2008

'If you don't read the newspapers, you're uninformed. If you do read the newspapers you're misinformed.' - attributed to Mark Twain.

When we returned from Cajas National Park, we learned that while we were out, a college student from Indiana had been lost. I can see how it could happen. We ourselves ended up missing a trail that we were looking for, and we had a map and a compass. Itīs a vast area and very remote...we saw only 1 other person in the three days we were trekking along the main trails. Also, just 2 weeks ago, the same thing happened to our friend Holly (from the Galapagos) and she spent the night out as well. They are both very lucky.

If I am ever stranded out overnight, I will take comfort in the knowledge that my drama may be as mis-reported by MSN as the missing student. Hereīs an example of why journalism might keep you up (and maybe even warm) at night...

....Authorities say he went missing on a hiking trip around 4 p.m. Equador time. He was in the Cajas National Park when reports say he wandered away from the group. Jim Garringer, a spokesman for the university, says Dornon was located near the state park in a refugee camp.

First, we notice the new, trendy use of fusion spelling. ECUADOR + EQUATOR (which to be fair does bisect the country) equals EQUADOR.

Next, we also note the very modern 1-sentence attention span. In one sentence they correctly refer to Cajas Natinal Park, but in the very next sentence refer to it as a State Park. Truly the next generation of journalistic ingenue-ity.

But the maximo is the use of contextual fusion, when the story claims that the student was found at a refugee camp. This is a bold fusion of REFUGIO (a basic wooden house with a kitchen, fireplace, and dorm beds) and CAMPING area (a basic field where one sets up tents) to yeild REFUGEE CAMP.

A masterpiece uninhibited by spelling, consistency, or even facts. A sure contentor for the Wurlitzer Prize.
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