American Violence Down Except, Apparently, in America

by Dan Ward

Great story by Linda Shrieves about boosting security in hospital settings , but what appears to be a glaring error distracted me from her otherwise solid reporting.

“Hospitals have long been considered sacrosanct – places for healing and helping – but they are no longer immune to America’s increasing violence, experts say.” (Italics added for emphasis.)

Just last year, the Sentinel reported that violent crime was down nationwide and in Orlando, and the latest FBI statistics show that this trend has continued.  The seeming disconnect between a stagnant economy and a decrease in violent crime has been reported at length over the last few years.

So why raise fears of increasing American violence?  How was such a statement missed by an editor?  If it’s the “experts” talking about increasing violence, why were they not challenged?

This isn’t just nit-picking.  Most communicators (reporters and PR pros, alike) turn toward comparisons like these to tell stories and get points across.  But accuracy is key.  If you’re comparing apples to apples, make sure you know what’s going on in the orchard.

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