NY is a state

I was heartily amused by TeeVee’s commentary on the media coverage of “Blackout 2003”. Not that I got to actually see any of that coverage, what with being in the blackout zone and all. So I can’t comment on how accurate their statement is that coverage focused on New York City more than on the several other states (and provinces) which were effected. A huge city without power is bad, sure, but it sounds like their television and radio stations both had generators and knew how to turn them on. Round these upstate parts, we were in media blackout, making the test of the emergency broadcast system which I heard the next day particularly amusing. Though, with the phones working, I guess the national coverage was useful, as we were all able to call out west and find out when we might expect our power back.
The story actually points out a more serious complaint I have about media coverage of events in New York City. See, there’s a reason there is a “City” at the end of the name — there is also a New York state. And while there are times when “New York” is unambigous: “mayor of New York”, “senator from New York”, etc., there are many more contexts in which it should be specified, such as “New York is without power” – a comment which leaves family unsure whether I’m sitting in the dark or not. In fact, they should be able to conclude from that statement that there is a state-wide blackout, because one rarely follows a state name with the modifier “state”; much more common is the modifier “city”, as in “Kansas City” or “Oklahoma City”, which I’ve never seen abbreviated to their ambigous state name. But one can’t make that conclusion, because the media uses “New York” as an abbreviation for “New York City”, and they’re left with misinformed viewers when they actually mean the state (I’ve had multiple people be surprised that the New York smoking ban was being instituted “over here” as well).
I get that New York City is big and even referenced more frequently than the state as a whole, but the media, and particuarly the news, are supposed to be informing the public, and they’ve gotten into a sloppy habit.

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