Dope Reporter Nomination For Visual Math Effort

We haven’t made any “Dope Reporter” awards recently, but KIVI Channel 6 reporter Tina Jensen was nominated Tuesday by a reader for a convoluted attempt to use three “visuals” to make a TV story out of a dry census report about poverty.

Jensen noted there are 255,000 thousand people in Idaho living at or below the poverty level. But to put that in visual terms, she displayed 6 paper doll cutouts–5 white and one black. The report wasn’t about race, but she urged us to “visualize” standing with 6 people and one (presumably the black doll) would be in poverty.

Then she displayed a stack of currency explaining if each dollar bill represented those living in poverty, the stack would reach halfway up the Banner Bank Building. Of course if she used $100 instead of $1 bills, the stack would still reach only halfway to the top of the building, but it would be worth $25.5 million.

In case you didn’t understand the paper dolls or the stacks of cash, she ended the report with a map showing Boise and Meridian and explained the number of people living at the poverty level would be like merging the population of Boise and half the population of Meridian.

In case we weren’t clear, here is THE STORY.

SPECIAL SHOUT OUT to all the TV reporters who avoided use of the yellow shirt and helmet as a prop during reports–especially avoiding the studio shots “just back from the fire lines.”

Comments & Discussion

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  1. And therefore all of Boise and half of Meridian is in poverty. Good call, Guardian. There might be a future for you as an NFL ref. 😉

  2. brian vermillion
    Sep 25, 2012, 2:30 pm

    Often you have to start a career in journalism at the bottom. Channel 6 would definitely be the bottom.

  3. 1) Could she please tell us how many of those people in poverty are still buying beer and smokes while letting the rest of us pay for their kids, rent, and medical bills? And how many of them are refugees dumped here by the feds?

    2) The only time I every watched her entire story was when she wore a body-tight tanktop at a wildfire last summer. I’ve not seen that outfit since, so maybe the older women at the station had a problem with it.

  4. Hello, I am the person who made the graphic in question. My name is Matt Covey and I do not hide behind anonymity. As to who should be nominated for the “Dope Reporter” award…look no further than your own mirror. If you actually care to look at the graphic instead of looking for the first opportunity to be a race baiter you would notice the one “(presumably the black doll)” was actually blue. Nice of you to jump to conclusions!

    Secondly, I am by no means a math major, but if one were to stack 255,000 bills on top of each other, they would measure 1,096.5 inches, or 91.375 feet. As the Banner Bank Building is 181 feet, 91 feet is roughly half.

    Lastly, I invite you, the nameless, to offer Ms. Jensen an apology. I doubt that it will happen as you are most likely too busy looking for a race card somewhere that you haven’t played yet.

    And to Brian Vermillion, thanks for your expert critique as a burgeoning media critic. You most definitely have a career writing out of your mother’s basement!

    EDITOR NOTE–Matthew, thanks for the calculations. We apologize for any slight. You obviously deserve to share the award with Tina. We aren’t certain, but based on unscientific data we would be willing to bet 255,000 BSU football tickets stacked atop each other would probably reach the top of the Banner Bank. They probably wouldn’t be worth $25.5 million unless you included TV revenue, but certainly worth more than $255,000–especially if the offense gets going.

  5. “Excellent!”
    – J. Montgomery Burns

    (I’m skeptical it was a statement about poverty and race, but that’s an interesting observation.)

    The son-in-law thinks Ms. Jensen is a walking, talking real-life Barbie doll! (And that’s a compliment!)

  6. Matthew, you should’ve made 5 of the dolls red, and one blue. Then we could’ve assumed it was a red state / blue state thing!

    Isn’t the moon about 255,000 miles away? Just think… if each one of those po’ folk were a mile tall, they’d stretch all the way to the moon!

  7. MAtt: Why don’t ya do an infomercial on the six with the mayor so he can use your graphic to explain how a train in downtown will fix this poverty problem.

    PS: I never doubted the numbers/height. I just wonder why it’s on a prime media time when ya could be telling us some real news. We can see the poverty and cost of it for ourselves. It seems that marketing has a editing function with most of the media outlets these days. I rarely even watch the TV news. 3 minutes on an internet news clearing house, probably the same one you get ideas from, and I know what you’ll say that night.

  8. eye candy trying to be brain food

  9. Just got back from gas station, guy in front of me bought all his kids bags of chips using food stamps. Glad to know those in poverty are smart enough to make such good decisions. for the price of one small bag of chips, he could have bought a big bag of chips from winco. If you do not think many poor are poor because of their own stupidity, go to winco on the evening of the first day of the month when food stamps are redistributed and look at societies finest fun up and down the aisles like a shopping spree TV show.

    EDITOR NOTE–How many food stamps would it take stacked atop themselves to reach halfway up the Banner Bank bldg.?

  10. Try asking a politician of any stripe to get junk food off the dole. Not going to happen. Checking the price of pop at Winco and Shasta Cola was $2.45 and plain carbonated water was $4.25 for the respective 12 packs. Sugar is heavily subsidized by tax payers. Guess carbonated water could be called free market water.

  11. loser emeritus
    Sep 26, 2012, 5:13 am

    Matthew Covey, the picture on your Facebook page of you and Jesse Jackson in an obviously emotional embrace is…. well, heartwarming.

  12. The funniest thing I heard this week was Scott Logan on Channel 2 referring to a “negative truth” in an education referenda ad.

  13. Cities all over Idaho spend millions to court companies that will not pay workers a living wage.

    Idaho consistently markets itself as the land of cheap labor, cheap housing and cheap dirt. Is it any surprise the poverty numbers are up? I simply do not understand the intent or purpose to court businesses, give them all manner of tax breaks and encouragement to locate here when all they do is make our poverty problem worse.

    What would the poverty numbers be if we simply declined to subsidize employers with dead-end jobs?

  14. Matt: This is why the media ain’t gettn no respect anymore. Aside from the presentations directed to the 3rd grade level, the bias/marketing/favoritism is obvious. So, if you give us quality, we’ll give you respect. (remember when ch7 had a blitz on for Tamarack right before it went bust. Pure marketing week after week.)

  15. Humm
    I wonder how many pug dogs stacked on top of each other would take to get half way up the Banner Bank building?

  16. First of all, she’s not what I’d call eye candy, but she is blonde so maybe guys like that.

    Second, it takes THREE examples to illustrate the numbers in poverty? THREE? Seriously the first two or the last two or the first and last weren’t illustrative enough? Perhaps the audience of Channel 6 has been educated in Idaho’s public schools and they need that many examples for it to penetrate.

  17. Good on Mathew, if that is his real name, for taking the embarrassment bullet. I certainly agree he should share it. Not that I checked but his math seems sound. His ability to generate a meaningful graphic to low information audiences, not so much. What’s funny is that Matt found a graphic necessary in the first place. Most people know what one in six means.

  18. How many pseudonyms stacked together would reach the top of the Banner Bank building?

  19. @eric049—–another great quote is when a prison official from canyon county when describing an escaped convict, called it a “self-release”, much like a negative truth….

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