Who’s getting what at the oil pump? With all the frenzy over oil prices, I’d like to see a simple but definitive story that takes a gallon of the gasoline Americans buy and breaks down exactly who gets how much of the $4.00 (or whatever the price is), starting with owners of the oil fields and including drillers, shippers, refiners, distributors, retailers, and, of course, the tax collectors. And which of these parties benefits the most when the price goes up?
There’s no one to blame for this, really. But it does illustrate, tastelessly and uncomfortably, that it will be a long time — perhaps not in my lifetime — before human editors are totally dispensable.
Alex Johnson writes in “Human Editors Matter” that real life editors are still essential. To illustrate the point he notes an automated headline generated by Google News about a missing boy found dead in a freezer.
The totally unrelated dek (or subhed) accompanying the headline reads: “A host of new surveys don’t paint a pretty picture for many small businesses. Uncertainty about the economy, slow retail sales and high commodity prices have small business owners in the dumps this summer.”