Yann Martel

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Martel, Writers, and developing news I've read some of Martel's stuff and it's good. On a serious note, I've run across some tragic information in the American press that is developing as news in the strangest fashion. Since this forum is for writers, I thought I'd present it. The USA Today reported 40,000 dead unidentified bodies in the morgues of the country! It should have been Woodward/Bernstein stuff, but it hasn't been reported much for three years. Now ABC is making a TV show ("The Forgotten") based on these facts! I don't mean to "spam" you; if you want more info contact me. Jacques Berkeley (unaffiliated with ABC)

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I am not certain as what could be said with such a report.  I think it speaks for itself.  Indeed, television modeling reality and the latter modeling more of the former has become a staple of popular culture of the modern setting.  I am not even sure if one can say that it is "good" or "bad" as much as it what it is.  I think it's slightly bizarre, but it seems that this is passing what constitutes as "entertainment."

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krishna-agrawala | Student

I checked on the link given in post above and found that my feeling that figure of 40,000 unidentified dead bodies was justified.

The report in in above link, which is dated September 12, 2009, says:

The USA Today reported in May, 2006 that some 40,000 dead remained unidentified in the morgues of the country.

Clearly it is the cumulative figure of all the unidentified bodies since they started keeping record till May 2006, and not total number of such bodies in morgues now, or on any other given day. It is  quite possible that  moss of these bodies belong to a period long past, when the system of tracing the identity of dead persons was not that good. Further it is also possible that with improvement in the system over last three years or so the situation has improved substantially, and now very few of the dead bodies brought to the morgues remain unidentified.

It is sad but true that the the way journalism today is misused to spread misconceptions to create sensation, rather than inform and educate people, is much more deplorable than this incident of unidentified dead bodies reported by them.

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jacquesberkeley | Student

Here's the latest information I have: http://newsflavor.com/world/usa-canada/an-update-on-the-40000-dead-in-america/

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krishna-agrawala | Student

Unfortunately newspapers and other journalist today have become very much of "sensation creators" rather than objective "reality reporters. To me this figure of "40,000 dead unidentified bodies in the morgues of the country (USA)" appears to be misleading. I am not implying that the figures are wrong. But then someone spoke of "lies. dammed lies and statistics". I can think of so many ways in which this figure of 40,000 could be misleading. For example:

  1. Every body is identified when brought into the morgue, is technically treated as unidentified, till some one identifies it as per a set process. In this way these are the bodies awaiting identification rather than bodies that remain identified for a considerable period.
  2. Is this the number of bodies that have remained identified and are still lying in the morgue, or the total number bodies brought to morgue that have remained unidentified ever since they started keeping records.
  3. What percentage of bodies brought to the morgues remain unidentified for ever. And how long these bodies are kept in morgue before being removed from there. If this period is 1 day, this would amount to 40000x365 unidentified bodies per year - a very alarming figure. But if this period is 1 year the situation is quite different.
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