Post ombudsman cites ECWG member’s firm

Andrew Alexander, The Washington Post’s ombudsman, noted the work of the company headed by Curt J. Westergard, MN ’09, in his Sunday, Nov. 5, 2010 column urging the newspaper to begin using professional crowd estimates based on aerial photos and computer analysis in its coverage of big events on the National Wall.

Westergard is president of Digital Design & Imaging Service Inc., in Falls Church, Va., which produces such images.

Alexander said “new computer-analyzed aerial imaging is producing what experts say are highly accurate crowd counts.” He urged Post editors to  “embrace the technology and get in the game” because the paper “should lead in coverage of rallies in its back yard” and because “credible crowd counts (are) informative and counter unchallenged, publicity-driven estimates from organizers.”

Alexander noted that CBS News is using Westergard’s company and that the Post’s own Web site, but not the newspaper, noted that Westergard’s company estimated the crowd at 215,000 people during the Oct. 30 Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert “Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear” and at 87,000 for the Glen Beck “Restoring Honor” rally in late August.

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