It Could Be a Celebration…or a Riot…or Something…

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The Onion’s clip, “Something Is Happening in Haiti” was certainly amusing.  The headline below the reporter with the “news” was constantly changing as “new information” was gathered from the on-site reporter, Don Abrams.  However, it became increasingly clear that Abrams was not sure what was going on.  He simply made observations, such as there is a big crowd and then the headquarters anchor, Lane Everett, would make assumptions about what he said.  It soon became clear that neither person had any clue whether the people were celebrating, revolting, or an election had just taken place.  At one point when Lane Everett lost connection with Don Abrams, the screen came up with his birth and death date, before they could possibly have confirmed whether this was true or not (which it wasn’t)! While I agree that TV news frequently reports on stories they have not fact-checked, this clip obviously exaggerated things slightly.  As we discussed in class on Friday, television news does have a function.  As long as we realize that their top interest is to get ratings and do not blindly believe everything they say, I don’t think that TV news is so terrible.  The important thing is to always remain skeptical about one sees, hears, and reads. 


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