Plus vs. Minus and everything in between

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Throughout Ch. 1 the authors gave several examples of reports that were optimistic and ignored the negative sides to those findings. Why not report on the 5,717 drop in AIDS cases between the years of 1994 and 1995 and only focus on the increases? Even the few papers that reported on this decrease managed to find pessimistic viewpoints about it. Wouldn't it be nice for the general public to know that the age-old threat of tuberculosis was on the decline, that cases were at an all-time low? These reports were never written nor published though. It is almost as if newspapers and reporters would rather focus on something that can bring about a sense of doom and gloom as opposed to bringing the reader a happy feeling. Is this perhaps done on purpose because if you can whip the masses into a frenzy, then you'll sell more papers or get more exposure? 

I also found it interesting that some newspapers chose to quote/cite findings that were notably less-reliable than others even if they found similar facts. I don't understand why this would be done. It seems lazy to not try and find the best source to use, and the most reliable, when reporting something to the masses; this goes double for items that could significantly impact news consumer's lives.

Vanessa Kolberg's blog really opened my eyes to another part of the intro. and chapter 1 about truth and news being completely different things and how you can't believe everything you read. It's up to the reader to determine what is true and what isn't and everything in between.

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2 Comments

yes, while AIDS is an epidemic (there is no denying that) why are there hardly any reports on the medical breakthroughs scientists have made? There are so mnay drugs out there that can prolong AIDS' victims lives. We know it is a horrible disease, so why not remind us all that there is a sliver of hope and report on the strides? I think that "doom and gloom" brings in more readers...a headline reading "three soldiers died today in a car bombing outside of Bhagdad" will get more coverage than "Israelis and Palestinians close to peaceful solution"

Nessa said:

I think that the "gloom and doom" factor does draw more people in, Dani. Ever notice how the headline about the bad thing is huge and above the fold, where the happy stuff (the stuff I'd rather hear about anyway, personally) is hidden in some little sidebar on page C7 next to the ad for a new pizza place. It's like a big game- what gets reported, what doesn't.

Ps- I'm glad I could provide insight, Maddie!

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This page contains a single entry by MadelynGillespie published on October 18, 2007 4:59 PM.

Twisted Logic and the first Newspapers - Ch. 8&9 EL 200 was the previous entry in this blog.

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