I’ll be the first to freely admit that I’m not a journalist. But when I see shoddy reporting, it makes me cringe. And let’s face it, a lot of people have the propensity to believe anything they read on the Internet, particularly if the source is “trusted” or from the “Mainstream Media”.
Case in point:
Yesterday there was an article on Realtor.org ”“ a site many would think could be trusted. It is after all, the home of the National Association of Realtors. They cited another source ”“ U.S. real estate values present opportunity to Canadians from the Sierra Vista (AZ) Herald, a newspaper that has been published for over 50 years. I’m sure it’s a fine paper, but”¦
Here’s part of the story in Realtor.org:
Canadians Seek U.S. Property Bargains
Canadians are snapping up property in the United States. The Canadian “Loonie” is at par with the U.S. dollar for the first time since 1976””an exchange rate that makes homes and condos in the U.S. look like a real deal. (my emphasis)
And here is where R.org got their information from the Sierra Vista Herald:
What’s the strong attraction among the Canadians? For one thing, the Canadian dollar is currently at par with the U.S. dollar, something that hasn’t happened since November of 1976. The Canadians are experiencing the best exchange rate in nearly three decades.
Fact: The Loonie is not currently at par with the U.S. Dollar. “Par” means that one Canadian Dollar (a “Loonie”) is equal to one U.S. Dollar. The current exchange rate has one Canadian dollar equal to $0.86 USD. That’s 14% below parity. (source)
Fact: The Canadian dollar was not last at par with the U.S. dollar in 1976. On July 21, 2008 the CD/USD exchange rate was 0.9983 ”“ that is parity (or close enough), and it happened 32 years later than “reported”. (source)
One would sincerely hope that no one is making a decision the magnitude of purchasing a home based on what’s reported in either realtor.org or the Sierra Vista Herald. But people do read this sort of nonsense and they trust the people reporting it to do their jobs.
It took me literally 4 minutes to verify these facts. That professional journalists can’t be bothered to do this is rather”¦ disturbing? Frightening? Surely today’s journalist has access to the Internet, and surely they know some blogger somewhere is going to call them out if they make ridiculous and wildly inaccurate claims.