It should be a basic rule of journalism – if someone points with alarm to a huge change in the percentage of something – but you don’t have the actual numbers – ask more questions. That is just one reason to be concerned about Alaska’s version of that big local journalism trend story of the past year: The story warning, despite a mass of evidence to the contrary, that COVID-19 supposedly is leading to a hidden pandemic of child abuse.
The other reason to ask more questions involves who it is that’s pushing this kind of narrative in Alaska.
It began with a story from Alaska Public Media claiming that severe cases of child abuse seen by the state’s largest “child advocacy center” had “skyrocketed by 220% in the last year.” According to the story:
“The cases that are presenting are presenting inpatient, and it’s the big and the bad,” the center’s medical director, Dr. Barbara Knox, said.
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