[00:10.71]What was the consequence of the editor's insistence on facts and statistics?
[00:17.43]Editors of newspapers and magazines often go to extremes
[00:22.72]to provide their readers with unimportant facts and statistics.
[00:27.59]Last year a journalist had been instructed by a well-known magazine
[00:32.85]to write an article on the president's palace in a new African republic.
[00:38.53]When the article arrived,
[00:40.34]the editor read the first sentence and then refused to publish it.
[00:45.66]The article began:
[00:47.78]Hundreds of steps lead to the high wall which surrounds the president's palace.'
[00:53.68]The editor at once sent the journalist a fax
[00:57.50]instructing him to find out the exact number of steps and the height of the wall
[01:03.80]The journalist immediately set out to obtain these important facts,
[01:09.05]but he took a long time to send them.
[01:11.72]Meanwhile,the editor was getting impatient, for the magazine would soon go to press.
[01:18.07]He sent the journalist two more faxes,but received no reply.
[01:24.32]He sent yet another fax informing the journalist
[01:27.71]that if he did not reply soon he would be fired.
[01:32.24]When the journalist again failed to reply,
[01:35.92]the editor reluctantly published the article as it had originally been written.
[01:42.11]A week later,the editor at last received a fax from the journalist.
[01:47.77]Not only had the poor man been arrested, but he had been sent to prison as well.
[01:53.44]However,he had at last been allowed to send a fax in which he informed the editor
[01:59.24]that he had been arrested while counting the 1,084 steps
[02:04.73]leading to the 15 foot wall which surrounded the president's palace.