Saturday, January 03, 2015

Do your research properly

In educational circles, National Geographic publications usually rate pretty highly as a reference source. On the other hand, its cable television channel, the National Geographic Channel, can be a bit hit and miss.

Take for example JFK: Seven Days that Made a President. By and large it does a solid job of detailing the seven key days in former US President John F. Kennedy's life that helped shape his character and defined him. They include the day in 1934 when he nearly died as a teenager from a mystery illness; the day, in August 1943 when as a PT boat captain his boat was sunk by a Japanese destroyer killing two of his crew; the first televised presidential debate with Richard Nixon in September 1960, his May 1962 birthday gala in New York with Marilyn Monroe; the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, his June 1963 civil rights speech, and the day of his assassination in November 1963.

By the time she performed at President Kennedy's birthday gala, Marilyn Monroe was on a downward spiral. She died three months later. It is well known and thoroughly documented that she died at her home in Brentwood, Los Angeles.

The documentary says that she was found dead in a rented New York apartment not long after the gala. Errors like this are completely avoidable in this era of information overload, where it is simple to check and double check your sources. There's something to be said for diligent and thorough research.


Scottyboy said...

:) Remember how, in our early years of primary school, we used to watch National Geographic documentaries.

I wonder if today's educators would regard them as well as they did thirty years ago?

Ross said...

Perhaps their standards have slipped since then.