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UPDATED: RottenReporting: The $10,000,000 Mistake

UPDATE: The Register & Bee corrected the article within two hours of this article being published. Behold the power of SouthsideCentral.

I did my best to avoid writing this edition of RottenReporting, but the Register & Bee wouldn’t modify their story.

Register & Bee reporter Vicky Cruz watched drones fly into the air last week at KSI Data Sciences.

(Register & Bee article, paywall may apply unless you break through it.)

Well, apparently numbers were flying into the air that day too. Let’s take a look at the part of the article that’s 100% wrong.

The data management start-up was given seed funding in the amount of $250,000 by The Launch Place in 2013 in exchange for agreeing to headquarter in Danville. It also received a five-year $10 million grant from Danville Regional Foundation.

No. No. No. KSI Data Solutions was not given a five-year/$10 million grant by the Danville Regional Foundation. The Launch Place was given that $10,000,000 DRF grant.

Common sense should have told Cruz (and her editors) that $10,000,000 would have been a ridiculous amount of money to be given to a startup company like KSI. Knowledge of how the Danville Regional foundation works would have told Cruz (and her editors) that the DRF doesn’t fund startup companies. That’s not their mission.

I really didn’t want to honor Cruz with two RottenReporting articles within one week, but I’m forced to because I made a nice, polite comment on the article’s webpage saying that The Launch Place got the DRF grant and not KSI. My comment was deleted and the article never changed. So much for trying, eh?

Oh yeah, there was one other technology part of the article that didn’t make sense…

“It’s pretty simple. All you got to do is match the shape of your cable. Plug in your antennas, flip the switch on the back and you’re streaming videos securely into the cloud. It’s totally encrypted with a battery,” Barton said.

I spoke with KSI’s founder, Jason Barton, and he confirmed what I already knew. Batteries don’t have the ability to encrypt data. The battery on the drone provides 20 hours of data transfer power, and the software does the encoding. Perhaps Cruz and her editors should run technology factchecking past the Register & Bee’s IT department. They’d have spotted that mistake instantly, too.

Vicky Cruz wrote a claim that just didn’t make any common sense on either the dollar amounts or who the DRF grant actually went to. She should have known that the Danville Regional Foundation doesn’t make grants to companies like KSI and definitely not at the $10,000,000 level. Her editors should have had that knowledge as well in the factchecking process. Somebody at the Register & Bee deleted my correction of the facts and failed to get that information to someone who could verify the error and correct it.

It’s a team effort for sure, but that’s RottenReporting.

UPDATE #1: Within two hours of this article’s publication, the Register & Bee corrected the article. Here’s the corrected version.

The data management start-up was given seed funding in the amount of $250,000 by The Launch Place in 2013 in exchange for agreeing to headquarter in Danville. The Launch Place received a five-year $10 million seed funding grant from Danville Regional Foundation for this purpose.

There. That wasn’t so hard, was it?


10 comments to UPDATED: RottenReporting: The $10,000,000 Mistake

  • Berkeley Bidgood

    Are you surprised they deleted your comment? They read something they do not like so they remove it from public view. They will only allow certain people to write a letter to the editor and only publish the ones they deem worthy to be read.They used to cut people off from posting before they went to the facebook platform. What is considered censorship by a newspaper?Seems you have the right to post whatever you want to as long as it is correct and they should not be allowed to remove it because they do not like it. There is reason they are called the local fishwrap.——-“Censorship —–is the suppression of speech, public communication or other information which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, politically incorrect or inconvenient as determined by governments, media outlets, authorities or other groups or institutions”—–Bruce your facts must have been considered objectionable or harmful to their story.

  • And you think $10 million to the Lunch Place was a responsible investment?

  • Wilson

    What’s with drb reporters named Vicky? This one is as stupid as a recent Vicky named Morrison!

  • safesession

    Thanks for clarifying.

  • Sonja

    10 million to the Launch Place is just plain crazy. Especially when nothing is spent from DRF for a local tourism program. There is some mental block about tourism in Danville. Every single county surrounding us has tourism programs. It’s the 2nd largest industry in the state and aligns exactly with DRFs mission.

  • […] Star-Tribune, HELLO!) has just hired a reporter to replace the departed SouthsideCentral favorite Vicki Cruz. Ceillie Simkiss (No, I have no idea how to pronounce that yet) has had her first articles […]

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