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Science Reporter Ponders the Dynamics of Fishy Fresno Photo Opp

Is a local media event a little fishy when journalists outnumber the salmon 3-to-1? That was the question recently on the mind of Fresno Bee science reporter Mark Grossi.

Grossi notes that he hadn’t even thought about the comical imbalance at last week’s photo opp until someone else mentioned it. But sure enough, these fish were buttressed by a powerful PR current:

I saw the Associated Press, at least one television crew from San Francisco, local television stations and a host of other photographers. I saw only three fish. One of them was dead.

Was this event overplayed by environmentalists, river advocates and the media? I think not, but you can understand why some people might have seen it that way.

Grossi adds that “out-of-town media” mislabeled the event as a major breakthrough rather than what it really was – a small, TBD experiment aimed at regenerating salmon spawning in the Fresno bends of the San Joaquin River, where that activity has been absent for six decades now. Score another one for the fish flacks.

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