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Is investigative journalism dead?

Scott Tibbs, May 12th, 2003

TIME magazine says of students at Indiana University Bloomington: When They Party, They Party Hearty. OK, I'm going to rant now.

  1. An online Princeton Review "survey" that people voluntarily sought out to take says that 53% of respondents are binge drinkers. Yeah, that's a really representative sample there. Were the people who took the survey even students? Were identities verified?

  2. The fact that enforcement is up doesn't mean the partying is up. It just means IU is cracking down. As an example, our jails and prisons are filling up, and have many more prisoners than 20 years ago. Does this mean crime is up? Especially when you consider that statistics compiled by the FBI show crime is DOWN? The fact is that mandatory minimum sentences and "get tough" policies on nonviolent drug crimes have contributed to the increased incarceration rate. Non Sequitur.

  3. The "dorm porn" controversy was a result of Princeton Review's manufactured "#1 Party School" ranking. The "moviemakers" admitted they came to IU because of the Princeton Review story.

  4. Then, TIME magazine does a survey of students outside of some BARS to see how much IU students "party". That's what we call an unscientific, unrepresentative sample.
I'm more than a little fed up with a bunch of lazy non-journalists taking unverified data, not doing any research on their own, and then vomiting that data onto the newspaper/magazine page or the TV screen. Is investigative journalism dead?


Related Post: September 11, 2004

It was interesting to look at the chart on IUPD arrest statistics in yesterday's Indiana Daily Student. The first week of the 2001/2002 school year, there were 40 arrests for public intoxication. The first week of the 2002/2003 school year, there were 112 arrests for public intoxication.

Now, of course there was not a 280% increase in public intoxication in the first week of class after just one year. It just does not make sense. So what happened? It was in 2002 when Indiana University was named the nation's #"1 party school". It seems pretty obvious that IUPD was given a directive to crack down because of the rankings in the Princeton Review.