Ask questions: when the news makes no sense

Ask questions: when the news makes no sense

This week, here in Birmingham, we had two reports of ‘acid attacks’ being carried out.

One in particular drew my attention. Initially I saw a Facebook post from West Midlands Police, which reported they were investigating an attack on a woman in the Ladywood area of Birmingham, who had had acid thrown at her by a passing moped or bike rider.

It wasn’t until a couple of days later, after I saw a headline about how the police had changed their tune, and the woman possibly may have injured herself accidentally, that I looked into the reports and had a bit of a think on things.

The emergency services were called to Northbrook Street, in Ladywood, after reports a rider on a moped or cycle had thrown a corrosive substance into the face of a 47-year-old woman, around 10.30am, on Tuesday.

The woman, who suffered serious facial injuries in the attack, made her way to Astbury Avenue, in Smethwick, before she was taken to hospital by ambulance.

This really seems odd. For those unfamiliar with the area, I have presented a map below:

Google Map extract, showing Northbrook Street on the right, just below City Hospital on Dudley Road, and the location where the ambulance call was made, to the far left in Smethwick.

Now I don’t know about you, but if somebody had just sprayed a load of acid in my face, I’d probably be in a great deal of pain and discomfort.

Yet despite the City Hospital A&E department being literally a two to three minute walk away from Northbrook Street, this woman decided to travel all the way to Astbury Avenue in Smethwick. And it is not revealed by the police or in the news report how she got there. By my estimate, thats about a 40 minute walk, or a 12 minute drive. So really it doesn’t make any sense?

So why were emergency services called to Northbrook Street, when the woman travelled to Smethwick before calling an ambulance?

The “lazy journalism” then kicks in from the Birmingham Mail with their follow-up article where “Shocked residents speak after 47-year-old targeted in street“.

One stunned neighbour Ysamin Al- Gassab told BirminghamLive: “I just heard screaming over and over.”

But then her husband says:

“My wife heard screams today but I didn’t hear anything.”

Another resident that the Birmingham Mail spoke to then revealed everything:

“I was in town this morning at the rag market so I didn’t see anything “

So basically apart from someone ‘hearing screams’, no-one that the Birmingham Mail spoke to actually saw anything.

This I’m afraid is what passes for ‘local journalism’ nowadays. (I do apologise to anyone who clicked onto the Birmingham Mail links who doesn’t use an adblocker, but as you may or may not be aware, the Trinity Mirror runs so many identikit ‘local news’ papers and websites, which are principally just full of ‘click-bait’ articles designed to gather advertising revenue, that its “journalists” have forgotten how to actually ask questions and ‘investigate’ stories).

Rather than just repeating what someone else has said. Or worse still, just compiling tweets and passing it off as “journalism”.

While the Birmingham Mail does allow comments on ‘selected articles’, you may also be interested to know that a comment I left on that article, asking the same questions that I have presented here, was moderated and removed. Seems these local rags don’t like readers questioning what they are being told.

Did this woman lie to the police? Was it just an accident? Either way, why travel so far away from the hospital before calling an ambulance? And why did nobody see anything?

Question everything…