Tune in for Breaking Guesstiments

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In the Something is Happening in Haiti video, I think we all observed a decent (even though it may be slightly exaggerated example) of how sometimes TV news reporters and anchors jump to conclusions about what's happening in a news story because they are trying to get their station's the biggest (and hopefully most accurate) headline as quickly as possible. However, it seems that when this happens, the news gets twisted because of too many assumptions and possibly a breaking headline is accidently made out of a story that isn't even a story thats newsworthy at all (for example, was gathering a picnic or because of an important election).

I think another key point in this video was how a video clip can not only be lacking quality but also could lead to misinterpretations because of its lack of quality. The reporter didn't have the equipment needed to get a quality shot of the action going on. His blurry camera phone images forced him and the anchor to try to guess quickly what was going on in the crowd. This could cause another incorrect conclusion to be broadcasted. Also, even if the image hadn't been blurry, I think this example can help to remind us all that sometimes videos and pictures taken not only by TV news but also by newspaper reporters can sometimes be used to send the audience a different message than what was actually going on in the video/picture. Sometimes reporters twist these images even if they know the truth to make the story more dramatic or a better seller for their show/paper.

Go back.


Greta Carroll said:

Katie, I love your point about how pictures and videos can mislead viewers about what really is going on. Many people think that seeing is believing. If they see a picture or a video of something it must be true, right? Wrong. Just as quotes can be taken out of context misleadingly, so can pictures and videos.

I also agree that the clip was a bit exaggerated compared to how the news actually is, but they were just trying to poke fun and make a point. I can't help but wonder sometimes why reporters and anchors don't just admit they're not sure what's going on. But as you point out, if they did that they might fall behind in the ratings.

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