Malaysia Flight MH370: fact and truth are first casualties amidst a media circus - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Malaysia Flight MH370: fact and truth are first casualties amidst a media circus

Posted: Updated:

Santa Maria, CA / ACCESSWIRE / March 25, 2014 / The vanishing of Malaysia flight MH370 is a tragic and mind-numbing loss of an aircraft and those on board. As an aviation safety insider, an air safety investigator with 25+ years under my belt, it’s a sobering reminder of how quickly the flow of misinformation, conjecture, and conspiracy theories grow in the absence of fact.

The loss of so many souls on board MH370 has brought unimaginable pain and suffering to their families, their loved ones, and their friends. But it’s a pain that’s made unspeakably worse by the actions of a frenzied and irresponsible news media, which continues to demonstrate a propensity for speculation and misinformation. It can’t be said that reporters and journalists have let the facts get in the way of producing riveting television or printing a gripping story.

Each day, groundless claims about the fate of the aircraft, the way it was operated, and the evolving investigation are bandied about by reporters and journalists, many of who are neither aviation professionals nor accurately informed. Any amusement over the absurdity or complete inaccuracy of these claims is tempered by three cold hard facts — (1) they seduce the vulnerable into false hope, (2) they distort facts, (3) they misinform.

As week 3 of MH370s disappearance begins there’s still no sign of the aircraft or those aboard. With nothing “new” to report, the news media continues to rely upon a small army of pundits that speculate and fantasize over competing theories about what’s gone awry. With titles such as ‘pilot,’ ‘aviation expert,’ ‘aviation analyst,’ and impressive-sounding credentials including ‘retired pilot,’ ‘senior editor,’ ‘former Inspector General,’ the talking heads talk — about aircraft fires, failure modes, crash dynamics, survivability, human factors, search and rescue, radar coverage, the investigation, flight paths, pilot actions, ATC communications, “black box” recovery, and blah blah-blah. But none of them know what happened to the aircraft nor are they parties to the investigation, and armed with a few sketchy facts, the talking heads “fill in the blanks” And even though their theories may sound plausible at first, history demonstrates that they’re consistently wrong.

The most overlooked fact relating to the media circus surrounding the disappearance of MH370 is that the “actual experts” — the Air Safety Investigators involved — have yet to speak. They are members of a small group of specialized professionals, with backgrounds including: pilots, aircraft maintenance engineers, aeronautical and airworthiness engineers, air traffic controllers, materials failure, human factors and survivability, and other technical specialists. Guided by a set of international standards and recommended practices, they are acutely aware of the dangers of speculating on incomplete data, preferring instead to release information that’s considered to be fact.

With the morning comes news that Malaysia flight MH370 has crashed into the southern Indian Ocean, with all lives lost. For the families, the loved ones, and the friends of those aboard it’s the worst nightmare come true. In its zeal to feed a voracious 24-hour news cycle, the news media has a done a disservice to the families of the victims, and ultimately to the investigation process and the public, too. It’s time for them to turn the cameras, the microphones, and notebooks reflectively inward, reign in its reliance on ‘talking heads’ and ‘anonymous sources,’ define a clear line between ‘fact’ and ‘fiction,’ and stop milking a story for all that it’s worth.

About Grant M. Brophy, MAS ASI MRAeS:
Grant M Brophy is a California-based air safety investigator. He specializes in aviation accident investigation and prevention, within the areas of safety management, flight operations, human factors and survivability, and emergency response.

 

Media Contact:
To learn more, please contact:
Grant M. Brophy
237 Town Center West #114
Santa Maria, CA 93458, U.S.A.
Office: (805) 348-9512
grantbrophy859@gmail.com

ReleaseID: 413430

  • Latest StoriesMore>>

  • Ebola: Care and recovery of 2 American aid workers

    Ebola: Care and recovery of 2 American aid workers

    Friday, August 22 2014 5:35 PM EDT2014-08-22 21:35:16 GMT
    Two American aid workers have recovered from Ebola and left an Atlanta hospital, after weeks of intensive treatment in a special isolation unit.More >>
    Two American aid workers have recovered from Ebola and left an Atlanta hospital, after weeks of intensive treatment in a special isolation unit.More >>
  • Alabama lands commitment from 4-star Joshua McMillon

    Alabama lands commitment from 4-star Joshua McMillon

    Friday, August 22 2014 5:33 PM EDT2014-08-22 21:33:06 GMT
    Alabama's recruiting class is getting crowded. Four-star linebacker Joshua McMillon committed to the Tide, who already have 21 verbal commitments for it's 2015 class. The 6-foot-3, 239-pound player from Whitehaven High School in Memphis, Ten. is the No. 217 player in the nation according to the 247Sports Composite ranking. McMillon picked Alabama over offers from Auburn, Ole Miss and Michigan."Alabama, the name sticks out," McMillon said on the ESPN broadcast. "They're taking linebackers to t...More >>
    Alabama's recruiting class is getting crowded. Four-star linebacker Joshua McMillon committed to the Tide, who already have 21 verbal commitments for it's 2015 class. The 6-foot-3, 239-pound player from Whitehaven High School in Memphis, Ten. is the No. 217 player in the nation according to the 247Sports Composite ranking. McMillon picked Alabama over offers from Auburn, Ole Miss and Michigan."Alabama, the name sticks out," McMillon said on the ESPN broadcast. "They're taking linebackers to t...More >>
  • Firefighters still in hospital after ice stunt

    Firefighters still in hospital after ice stunt

    Friday, August 22 2014 5:16 PM EDT2014-08-22 21:16:16 GMT
    A charity stunt that has grown into a social media phenomenon went terribly wrong for four Kentucky firefighters when a fire truck's ladder got too close to a power line after they dumped water on college...More >>
    Two central Kentucky firefighters are still hospitalized a day after they were shocked by a power line while helping out with an "ice bucket challenge."More >>
  • Man charged in funeral home theft

    Man charged in funeral home theft

    Friday, August 22 2014 4:38 PM EDT2014-08-22 20:38:34 GMT
    Jerry William Duke charged with two counts of third degree burglaryJerry William Duke charged with two counts of third degree burglary
    A Shelby County man is in custody after police say he stole from the same funeral home twice. 32-year-old Jerry William Duke has been charged with two counts of third degree burglary. An undisclosed amount of money was taken from the funeral home in both instances.The two break ins occurred at the Midway Memory Gardens funeral home off of Alabama Highway 21 in Talladega County. Captain John McCoy with Talladega police confirm that Jerry Duke broke into the main building of the funeral home...More >>
    A Shelby County man is in custody after police say he stole from the same funeral home twice. 32-year-old Jerry William Duke has been charged with two counts of third degree burglary. An undisclosed amount of money was taken from the funeral home in both instances.The two break ins occurred at the Midway Memory Gardens funeral home off of Alabama Highway 21 in Talladega County. Captain John McCoy with Talladega police confirm that Jerry Duke broke into the main building of the funeral home...More >>
  • Alabama high school football scores from Thursday night, August 21

    Alabama high school football scores from Thursday night, August 21

    Friday, August 22 2014 4:13 PM EDT2014-08-22 20:13:27 GMT
    Alabama high school football scores from Thursday night via the AHSAA:More >>
    Alabama high school football scores from Thursday night via the AHSAA:More >>
  • Friday Night Rivals Game of the Week: Walker at Pell City Aug. 22

    Friday Night Rivals Game of the Week: Walker at Pell City Aug. 22

    Friday, August 22 2014 3:41 PM EDT2014-08-22 19:41:00 GMT
    Friday Night Rivals kicks off the 2014 high school football season tonight in Pell City, where the Panthers will host the Walker Vikings in the Game of the Week.More >>
    Friday Night Rivals kicks off the 2014 high school football season tonight in Pell City, where the Panthers will host the Walker Vikings in the Game of the Week.
    More >>
  • Samford students move in

    Samford students move in

    Friday, August 22 2014 9:11 AM EDT2014-08-22 13:11:21 GMT
    700 freshmen move into their residence halls today at Samford. They will be greeted by volunteers and the Samford football team who will help them move all their stuff into their rooms.More >>
    700 freshmen move into their residence halls today at Samford. They will be greeted by volunteers and the Samford football team who will help them move all their stuff into their rooms.More >>
  • Fridays to Go August 22 - 24

    Fridays to Go August 22 - 24

    Friday, August 22 2014 8:36 AM EDT2014-08-22 12:36:23 GMT
    Area events for the weekendMore >>
    Area events for the weekend
    More >>