Bob Woolmer died of natural causes

That Bob Woolmer wasn't murdered isn't good news as such - it's the absence of a very bad element of some bad news. Not cause for rejoicing, but everyone in cricket will appreciate that Woolmer's death has become something more commonplace. Now it's just very, very sad.

Mark Lawson (not the Yorkshire leg-spinner) wrote an interesting article about the media's increasing impatience and lack of need for demonstrable facts. To be fair, the police did say that it was murder. However, anything beyond that was pure supposition - and there was a lot beyond that.

We used to work for a local newspaper and even at that level reporters were very responsible about ensuring that anything published could be proven. We're always astounded by how more mainstream outlets weave great swathes of opinion within a factual report.

As a general rule of thumb, if a reporter says 'probably', 'possibly', 'perhaps' or 'maybe', just ignore anything to which this word relates. Unfortunately, many don't bother with such qualifiers any more, creating a certainty in their output that isn't warranted.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

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