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Media Watch

ABC 7’s “I-Team” #DidntLook at the Real Dangers for Pedestrians in SF

5:15 PM PST on March 4, 2014

ABC 7's "I-Team," lead by reporter Dan Noyes, had a major opportunity to give viewers an accurate picture of "what's causing pedestrian deaths," as the headline of its latest segment suggests. But Noyes didn't let the facts get in the way of producing a pedestrian-shaming piece, at the end of which he asked viewers to tweet about self-endangering pedestrians with the hashtag #DidntLook.

Image: ABC 7
Image: ABC 7

ABC did put some of those pesky facts in the segment, like the SFPD statistics that two-thirds of pedestrian crashes are primarily the fault of the driver. (Noyes, however, made no mention of the fact that driver error accounts for the top five most common violations.) But why should the I-Team's "investigation" allow rigorous data to spoil the slant of the segment -- which was mainly focused on shaming people crossing the street against lights and outside of crosswalks?

As it happens, #DidntLook backfired. Search the hashtag on Twitter, and you'll find across-the-board criticism of the segment. Noyes tried to counter some of the jabs himself, arguing that it's just pedestrians' turn for an I-Team segment, since they've done pieces on drivers and bicycle riders. Because that's how journalism is supposed to work -- everybody gets a turn. Next up for the I-Team: a hard-hitting look at the menace of babies in strollers.

By the way, Noyes is capable of better stuff. His most recent bicycle-related segment, "I-Team gets street view from cyclists," wasn't as egregious, telling stories through footage submitted by cyclists.

Here are some prime cuts from the #DidntLook discussion:

@transbay @mikesonn The story has context, Eric.

— Dan Noyes (@dannoyes) March 4, 2014

@kateatyrownrisk Really? This is where the conversation gets unreasonable. — Dan Noyes (@dannoyes) March 4, 2014

.@dannoyes I dare you to say #didntlook to Sofia Liu's mom. What part of the conversation seems unreasonable again? — Kate McCarthy (@kateatyrownrisk) March 4, 2014

Really @dannoyes? Your focus on pedestrian safety is to encourage #didntlook tweets to blame peds? Seems like you didn't look at the facts.

— Jeremy (@JspiderSF) March 4, 2014

Cute @mikesonn! Those sound like facts & figures! @dannoyes doesn't need those for a story! #OneThirdSoundsScarierThanTwoThirds #didntlook

— Meghan Arnold (@MeghanCArnold) March 4, 2014

.@dannoyes nope but i've had countless close calls with drivers who #didntlook

— Rich U. (@richdevin) March 3, 2014

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