Press Muse – A quickie

Just a lil’ one for now to keep them readers interested.

The New Paper published today on page 15 a photo of Indonesian labourer Suparwono.

In the column labeled ‘News Watch’, the caption read:

WORLD’S TALLEST? Indonesian labourer Mr Suparwono being helped by two officials as he climbs a flight of stairs in Lampung on Tuesday. The 25-year-old, who is 2.71m tall, is a contender for the title of world’s tallest man, currently held by Turkish farmer Sultan Kosen, whose height is 2.46m.

I wasn’t sure why the TNP had to ponder whether Suparwono is indeed the world’s tallest man. After all, they reported his height as 2.71m as if it’s fact, and added that current record is only 2.46m.

Turning over to The Straits Times, I realised why. On page A12:

Tallest-man contender falls short

Indonesian labourer Suparwono (centre) walking with the help of Mr Jaya Suprana (left) from the Indonesian Museum of Records and a relative during an awards ceremony in Jakarta yesterday. Mr Suparwono, who had hoped to be named the world’s tallest man, was actually 5cm shorter than record-holder Sultan Kosen of Turkey, a museum official said yesterday. Though Mr Suparwono, who like many Indonesians goes by just one name, did not beat the record height of 2.47m, he is Indonesia’s tallest man at 2.42m.

Okay, so 2.71m is a concocted fantasy. But what about the existing record?

TNP thinks it’s 2.46m. BBC News, as did many other major news outlets, reported Sultan Kosen’s height as 2.47m.

Or if one wishes for greater precision, it is 246.5cm according to Guiness World Records.

So gather round, my children. The lessons for today are fact checking and rounding half up.

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~ by spiegel2071 on December 3, 2009.

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