Service Per Week or Per Year?

One problem of the blogosphere is the tendency to respond to stories quickly, as well as to believe the worst about the other side. There have been a number of stories which have been popular in the blogs which I’ve been glad I held off on commenting on, and an occasional post which I wish I had delayed. A perfect example of this is seen in the unveiling of Obama’s call for public service (a policy which just has never excited the libertarian side of me). Incuded is this goal:

Establish a goal of having middle and high-schoolers contribute at least 50 hours a year to community service, and reach that goal through national guidelines for service-learning and additional resources for schools to develop successful programs. 

Unfortuanatley the first time I saw this on line there was an error, calling for fifty hours a week of community service by students. My immediate reactions were that 1) there is no way that my daughter (or any other high school student) could possibly do this and still attend school and 2) this must have been an error. I decided to simply wait a little longer and see how many hours Obama really intended before commenting.

Conservative bloggers such as Ed Morrissey were quicker to comment. In the time between starting to write and completing this post Ed has already posted a correction, and was skeptical about what Obama intended in his post. It is also notable that some people commenting on this were willing to accept the initial report as representing what Obama was advocating.

All in all this is no big deal, but just serves as something to keep in mind when reading reports on line. The blogosphere is a great way to get out information, but sometimes there were also advantages of the slower pace of old news sources which had more time to weed out errors such as that in Obama’s initial press release. Actually I wonder why Mark Halperin, who ran the initial release, didn’t question this before posting. Apparently his new philosophy on reporting political news still leaves something to be desired.

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1 Comment

  1. 1
    absent observer says:

    I was going to post something, but..

    Let me think about it a little more.

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