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February 06, 2012


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Alexandre Latsa


Good job !

I will translate this in French today!

Eugene Ivanov

Great job as usual, Patrick.

Could we reformulate the AP’s statement of values to this: “For more than a century and a half, men and women of The Associated Press have had the privilege of bringing truth to men and women of the world who left their brains at home?”


Alexander Mercouris

An excellent and very informative article.

The big unanswered question for me to which this article and other articles by your colleague Godrey Hahn give rise is what purpose does this sort of reporting serve? Who at the end of the day is being fooled by who? Surely people in Moscow know which was the bigger demonstration so what purpose is served by telling people in the west otherwise? All it does is trap us in a false narrative.

Patrick Armstrong

"For more than a century and a half, men and women of The Associated Press have made stuff up but, thanks to the Internet, it's not so easy to get away with it now."

Nicolai Petro

A very helpful piece. More's the shame of our journalistic community for not referring to the conventional literature on estimating crowds. Here is an excerpt from "Popular Mechanics."

"Herbert Jacobs, a journalism professor at the University of California, Berkeley, in the 1960s, is credited with modernizing crowd-counting techniques. From his office window, Jacobs could see students gathered on a plaza below protesting the Vietnam War. The plaza's concrete was poured in a grid, so Jacobs counted students in a few squares to get an average of students per square, then multiplied by the total squares. He derived a basic density rule that says a light crowd has one person per 10 square feet, a dense crowd has one person per 4.5 square feet, and Yip and Watson's mosh-pit density would have one person per 2.5 square feet."

If my conversion calculations are correct, the above density figures are quite close to the density figures used in the RIA Novosti graphic.

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