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Subject: How to write a news story to achieve maximum alarmism! rss

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The news organization that brough us "The War on Chritmas" ALARMIST! puh-shaw! Left or right or "liberal media" bias if it bleeds it leads.
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"The study results make sense and are likely due to man-made stress in the ground, said Rowena Lohman, a Cornell University geophysicist."

One of the reports authors, and not some oine briught in by fox to deicredit the research "But another expert was not convinced of a link to oil and gas operations." So it has not been poopooed by one of the reports authors, but some one unconnectd with the research.
 
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Drew1365 wrote:
Question: could the Associated Press be trying to sway public opinion? Or is there a more benign explanation?


Well I'm not sure whether it's more benign or not, but it seems to me that most of the time they choose the more exciting/sensationalist spin on the news simple to sell their papers/airtime/etc.

Not that owners of news corporations (and particularly News Corporation), don't try and use their news outlets to sway public opinion. But not every case of bad reporting comes under this.

But I think some of your analysis is a bit off in places. The headline it attention grabbing, but as you point out, the whole article is then a consistent backing off from the claim in the headline.

The headline is clearly meant to be grabbing and alarming. The article itself could very easily have been more alarmist if it had wanted.

I mean, you are using information from the article in order to dismiss the most alarmist interpretation of the headline. I'm pretty sure alarmist writing 101 would teach people not to put that kind of information in.

Perhaps the piece is alarmist (I'd want to read the soon to be published article, though mining has been pretty solidly linked to increases in small earthquakes for a good long time now), but it's clearly not designed to cause 'maximum alarmism', or at least not very well designed.

No more than the OP or the thread title anyway.
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The most compelling thing about this thread is that the last two guys were unable to even create short posts on the subject without mentioning Fox News.

Don't we have a president who can't talk about anything he's unable to fix without mentioning his predecessor?

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DWTripp wrote:
The most compelling thing about this thread is that the last two guys were unable to even create short posts on the subject without mentioning Fox News.


It's hard to imagine why anyone would think Fox News is relevant when discussing an article posted on foxnews.com.
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Dolphinandrew wrote:
DWTripp wrote:
The most compelling thing about this thread is that the last two guys were unable to even create short posts on the subject without mentioning Fox News.


It's hard to imagine why anyone would think Fox News is relevant when discussing an article posted on foxnews.com.


Associated Press. You do understand how the media works don't you?
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Dolphinandrew wrote:
DWTripp wrote:
The most compelling thing about this thread is that the last two guys were unable to even create short posts on the subject without mentioning Fox News.


It's hard to imagine why anyone would think Fox News is relevant when discussing an article posted on foxnews.com.


tttI know its really idd that I shulod mention Fox news when the lonk is to fox news.
 
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DWTripp wrote:
Dolphinandrew wrote:
DWTripp wrote:
The most compelling thing about this thread is that the last two guys were unable to even create short posts on the subject without mentioning Fox News.


It's hard to imagine why anyone would think Fox News is relevant when discussing an article posted on foxnews.com.


Associated Press. You do understand how the media works don't you?


Yes, an organisation is responsible for what it publishes. It took fox news two days to pick up on this. So all they6 are doijng is (according to the OP) repeating crap, does not say a lot for Fox news.

That is what we should really be angerd at, not AP for this, but the news organisations that regurgiate it verbatum.
 
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slatersteven wrote:
DWTripp wrote:
Dolphinandrew wrote:
DWTripp wrote:
The most compelling thing about this thread is that the last two guys were unable to even create short posts on the subject without mentioning Fox News.


It's hard to imagine why anyone would think Fox News is relevant when discussing an article posted on foxnews.com.


Associated Press. You do understand how the media works don't you?


Yes, an organisation is responsible for what it publishes. It took fox news two days to pick up on this. So all they6 are doijng is (according to the OP) repeating crap, does not say a lot for Fox news.

That is what we should really be angerd at, not AP for this, but the news orgnaisations that recurgiate it verbatum.


Interesting. So basically because you perceive Fox News as a mouthpiece for conservative ideology they can never be acceptable under any circumstance. Their motto is "Fair and Balanced" and the newsreader will always follow this with "We report, you decide."

Using your logic Fox is guilty for reporting it and would be guilty if they didn't report it. If other media outlets never passed the story along then it would only be news to those who read the AP site and the rest of us would never get to decide if the story is shit or not.

You're not very fair and balanced are you? Shouldn't you be accusing the AP for this crap and patting Fox on the back for bringing it to your attention?

Oh, and as for pumping oil and gas reserves causing earthquake flurries. does pumping water out of aquifers do the same thing? Cause we have a few more centuries of data available on that.
 
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DWTripp wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
DWTripp wrote:
Dolphinandrew wrote:
DWTripp wrote:
The most compelling thing about this thread is that the last two guys were unable to even create short posts on the subject without mentioning Fox News.


It's hard to imagine why anyone would think Fox News is relevant when discussing an article posted on foxnews.com.


Associated Press. You do understand how the media works don't you?


Yes, an organisation is responsible for what it publishes. It took fox news two days to pick up on this. So all they6 are doijng is (according to the OP) repeating crap, does not say a lot for Fox news.

That is what we should really be angerd at, not AP for this, but the news orgnaisations that recurgiate it verbatum.


Interesting. So basically because you perceive Fox News as a mouthpiece for conservative ideology they can never be acceptable under any circumstance. Their motto is "Fair and Balanced" and the newsreader will always follow this with "We report, you decide."

Using your logic Fox is guilty for reporting it and would be guilty if they didn't report it. If other media outlets never passed the story along then it would only be news to those who read the AP site and the rest of us would never get to decide if the story is shit or not.

You're not very fair and balanced are you? Shouldn't you be accusing the AP for this crap and patting Fox on the back for bringing it to your attention?

Oh, and as for pumping oil and gas reserves causing earthquake flurries. does pumping water out of aquifers do the same thing? Cause we have a few more centuries of data available on that.


Hold on, so AP is out of order for saying this, but Fox is not for repeating it? Some one who repeats a lie is a bad as the person who started the lie.

This was an attack on AP, when the story appeared in Fox, should this then not have been an attack on Fox for repeating a lie, and AP for creating it?
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Hold on, so AP is out of order for saying this, but Fox is not for repeating it? Some one who repeats a lie is a bad as the person who started the lie.

This was an attack on AP, when the story appeared in Fox, should this then not have been an attack on Fox for repeating a lie, and AP for creating it?


Factually, Drew was attacking not the story but how AP presented the story. They wrote an alarmist headline that fell apart as you proceed through the story itself. Why would any other organization, especially one whose by line is "we report, you decide" be guilty of anything except perhaps not dispatching a reporter to check all the facts. But since this is not a murder or public event like the Trayvon debacle, Fox is doing what CNN or CNBC or any other general news agency would do... running other people's stories and not trying to decide for you or me if they make sense.

The story and the "theory" are dumb, Like the pink slime story or the Alar apple crisis in Washington State in the early 90's. It's a non-story because if you think about it for even a minute or two it makes no sense as presented.

You, and the German guy, both chose to marginalize Fox News because, at least I think so, you don't like conservative ideology and have a deep and irresistible need, a compulsion, to lash out and attack anything which threatens your world view. Truth or reality don't factor into the must-hate-must-attack-conservatives obsession. The important thing is to demean and try and keep others from accepting them as credible.

This is one of about a hundred reasons I tend to stay away from shows like Hannity or that Olbermann guy or the Rachael Maddow or any of the more strident radio shows. I already know who doesn't like who, but I am curious about what is going on in the world. And frakking isn't causing earthquake flurries based on that article... which has a headline that says the opposite... that, thanks to Fox News, I know know about and can dismiss as significant.
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DWTripp wrote:
Associated Press. You do understand how the media works don't you?


The AP writes all stories, hacks into foxnews.com and puts up the stories?

I generally tend to think of News Corp. in terms of the daily mail and the Sun rather than fox news.

I also tend to think of it in terms of a good example of a news organisation trying to influence public opinion because they are not shy about it. Probably the most famous Sun headline (perhaps the most famous headline in the UK) was the Sun openly declaring that it was responsible for Conservatives' '92 election victory.

Of course whether that was the Sun freely admitting that it influenced public opinion, or trying to influence the public into believing it had the power to turn an election is questionable. Either way, since the start of his career, Murdoch has always been pretty clear that he uses his organisations to change and direct public opinion towards his point of view. Anyone using the rhetoric of controlling elites is echoing or descended from Murdoch's driving force. Whether he was right about controlling elites is by-the-by, he's certainly the one who brought the idea to the popular conciousness.

(Murdoch's ideology isn't exactly conservative either. He certainly tends to ally himself with the right more often than the left, but he's quite happy to influence and get on side with other political parties if it suits his aim. In many ways I think his success in the UK, large though it has been, is not quite as much as it has been in the US. Mainly I think this is because his anti-elitist stuff falls a bit flat sometimes in the UK, the Tories hardly being an anti-elite party. It fits somewhat better in the US where his, I think genuine, dislike of what he sees as 'the elite' fits better with the general feeling of the right in the US.)

As ever with the US-culture wars, 'the media is lying to us, I know this because this media source gives me all the evidence', falls a bit flat with me. I thought my post defended the piece on foxnews.com more than anything. But if you want to take that as proof of my 'must-attack-conservative attitude', then feel free. After all, fox news must be good, they have a motto that says they are.

To go back to the topic, I have an inherent dislike of articles on science that don't link the the material (in this case, as yet unpublished material). Minor earthquakes in areas with increased mining is hardly a new or surprising idea, but whether this report says something genuinely new I don't new. This seems to me to be in many ways a much bigger issue with modern media than political bias. Reporting on things before the full information has come in, desperately trying to take up space so they can fill 24 hours or however many pages on the internet, and sensationalising headlines to attract eyes so they can sell advertising, rather than just trying to sum up the contents of the article.

There's no need for this article. They should have waited for the report to come out, then briefly described what was in the report, preferably linking to it. Perhaps if they'd really liked, they could have actually discussed some of the content, rather than vaguely talking about the conclusions. If someone then had issues with the report, they could then have published counter arguments and the news could then report on that.

But of course that would be pretty dull, despite being much more informative.

Also, I only live in Germany. I am not German.
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DWTripp wrote:
Quote:
Hold on, so AP is out of order for saying this, but Fox is not for repeating it? Some one who repeats a lie is a bad as the person who started the lie.

This was an attack on AP, when the story appeared in Fox, should this then not have been an attack on Fox for repeating a lie, and AP for creating it?


Factually, Drew was attacking not the story but how AP presented the story. They wrote an alarmist headline that fell apart as you proceed through the story itself. Why would any other organization, especially one whose by line is "we report, you decide" be guilty of anything except perhaps not dispatching a reporter to check all the facts. But since this is not a murder or public event like the Trayvon debacle, Fox is doing what CNN or CNBC or any other general news agency would do... running other people's stories and not trying to decide for you or me if they make sense.

The story and the "theory" are dumb, Like the pink slime story or the Alar apple crisis in Washington State in the early 90's. It's a non-story because if you think about it for even a minute or two it makes no sense as presented.

You, and the German guy, both chose to marginalize Fox News because, at least I think so, you don't like conservative ideology and have a deep and irresistible need, a compulsion, to lash out and attack anything which threatens your world view. Truth or reality don't factor into the must-hate-must-attack-conservatives obsession. The important thing is to demean and try and keep others from accepting them as credible.

This is one of about a hundred reasons I tend to stay away from shows like Hannity or that Olbermann guy or the Rachael Maddow or any of the more strident radio shows. I already know who doesn't like who, but I am curious about what is going on in the world. And frakking isn't causing earthquake flurries based on that article... which has a headline that says the opposite... that, thanks to Fox News, I know know about and can dismiss as significant.


NO, me (and the German guy) are saying that you can't absolve Fox news of reponsibilty for what it repeats. If the herad line is wrong then Fox should not have used it.
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All news organizations, by my reading, present a mixture of slanted and generally Fair and Balancedâ„¢ reporting. I don't watch news on television, instead mainly relying on Google's news feed, which directes me to a wide variety of sites like Fox, Haaratz, CNN, Reuters, BBC, ABC, Al Jazeera, etc. I read most articles as if they are fair, but my bullshit meter is on its most sensitive setting. I have read excellent pieces of journalism on the Fox website, and they often cover topics that are not touched by other sources. I think what Drew is mostly complaining about is the thing that most often annoys me about both Fox and the NYT, which is when something that turns out to be an opinion piece is dressed up as a news article. I did not read the article in question, so I can't comment on whether this is the case with that article, but I wanted to jump in to say that the automatic dissing of Fox News is a classic example of the Weak Sauce fallacy.
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If they want to advance their anti-energy agenda, all they really have to do is stay focused on flammable drinking water.
 
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slowcorner wrote:
All news organizations, by my reading, present a mixture of slanted and generally Fair and Balancedâ„¢ reporting. I don't watch news on television, instead mainly relying on Google's news feed, which directes me to a wide variety of sites like Fox, Haaratz, CNN, Reuters, BBC, ABC, Al Jazeera, etc. I read most articles as if they are fair, but my bullshit meter is on its most sensitive setting. I have read excellent pieces of journalism on the Fox website, and they often cover topics that are not touched by other sources. I think what Drew is mostly complaining about is the thing that most often annoys me about both Fox and the NYT, which is when something that turns out to be an opinion piece is dressed up as a news article. I did not read the article in question, so I can't comment on whether this is the case with that article, but I wanted to jump in to say that the automatic dissing of Fox News is a classic example of the Weak Sauce fallacy.


What was dissed was AP, not fox. Some of us just pointed out that it appeared on the Fox news site.
 
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That's like the story about the JetBlue pilot who flipped out a couple weeks ago - I was suprised the headline didn't read, "Pilot Threatens Passengers With Al-Qaeda, Bomb"
 
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gamesterinns wrote:
That's like the story about the JetBlue pilot who flipped out a couple weeks ago - I was suprised the headline didn't read, "Pilot Threatens Passengers With Al-Qaeda, Bomb"


Jetblue really needs to start screeing its staff better.
 
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slatersteven wrote:


What was dissed was AP, not fox. Some of us just pointed out that it appeared on the Fox news site.


Kind of. AP wrote the story and you chose to bring Fox into the picture. Fox or CNN or any other organization is just carrying the AP feed. Mentioning them is superfluous and (in my opinion) is only done to somehow discredit them and not AP.

Imagine you and I are standing on a corner and witness a man in a gray hoodie steal a purse from a woman and run off. That's an event. But if you turn to me and say, "You know, I saw Sean Hannity yesterday wearing a gray hoodie" then that is something entirely different and not even remotely connected to the event.

My interest in this thread is more the seeming need to bring Fox into the picture than the story itself. Which, from what I can tell, is crap to begin with.
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Drew1365 wrote:

By the sixth paragraph, you strongly back away from the headline, call into question whether there's any relation at all:

Quote:
It's not clear how the earthquake rates might be related to oil and gas production, the study authors said.


By paragraph seven, reinforce the opposing premise:

Quote:
But Ellsworth said Friday he is confident that fracking is not responsible for the earthquake trends his study found, based on prior studies.



That's actually not what either of these paragraphs say. The sixth paragraph says they don't know how it affects it, not that they don't know that it affects it. The seventh paragraph then discusses a specific process called fracking, and says that specific process is not causing it. It does not say that the other processes are not causing it.
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DWTripp wrote:
And frakking isn't causing earthquake flurries based on that article... which has a headline that says the opposite... that, thanks to Fox News, I know know about and can dismiss as significant.


No, Tripp, you haven't read it correctly either.

The headline doesn't mention fracking. The article barely mentions fracking, other than to say that some people blame it for more earthquakes, and one of the authors of the new study doesn't think fracking is the cause.

The story is that there's a new study that suggests the recent rise in earthquakes in the Midwest may be related to oil and gas production; and the same author who doesn't think it's because of fracking nonetheless thinks there is a possibility that the earthquake increase is man-made. The significance of the story - and the study - remains to be seen.

The AP isn't issuing a polemic about how we have to stop oil and gas drilling; and while I'm sure there will be some people who wave this article around and demand just that, they will be counterbalanced by the people who will dismiss the article out of hand as meaningless propaganda. Oh look, we have members of that latter group here! (Oddly, nobody from the former group has appeared yet.)

The reality is that somewhere in the middle there's an interesting possibility that deserves further exploration and fact-finding, after which we can decide if there are policy questions to answer.
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Drew1365 wrote:
Golux13 wrote:
DWTripp wrote:
And frakking isn't causing earthquake flurries based on that article... which has a headline that says the opposite... that, thanks to Fox News, I know know about and can dismiss as significant.


No, Tripp, you haven't read it correctly either.

The headline doesn't mention fracking.


Headline: Study ties oil, gas production to Midwest earthquakes


Fracking, right there in the headline.


So gas production = fracking? That's the only way gas is produced?
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DWTripp wrote:
slatersteven wrote:


What was dissed was AP, not fox. Some of us just pointed out that it appeared on the Fox news site.


Kind of. AP wrote the story and you chose to bring Fox into the picture. Fox or CNN or any other organization is just carrying the AP feed. Mentioning them is superfluous and (in my opinion) is only done to somehow discredit them and not AP.

Imagine you and I are standing on a corner and witness a man in a gray hoodie steal a purse from a woman and run off. That's an event. But if you turn to me and say, "You know, I saw Sean Hannity yesterday wearing a gray hoodie" then that is something entirely different and not even remotely connected to the event.

My interest in this thread is more the seeming need to bring Fox into the picture than the story itself. Which, from what I can tell, is crap to begin with.


And not mentioning the fact that Fox carried the story looks like trying to dicredit AP and not Fox. That is waht I see, an attmpet tpo attack news organisations credibilty by showing a story that another news organisation used. Sorry but if this refelcts badly on AP it must refelct badly on Fox (ohh and I have seen no one saying that the AP are not responsible for exageration).
 
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Golux13 wrote:
Drew1365 wrote:
Golux13 wrote:
DWTripp wrote:
And frakking isn't causing earthquake flurries based on that article... which has a headline that says the opposite... that, thanks to Fox News, I know know about and can dismiss as significant.


No, Tripp, you haven't read it correctly either.

The headline doesn't mention fracking.


Headline: Study ties oil, gas production to Midwest earthquakes


Fracking, right there in the headline.


So gas production = fracking? That's the only way gas is produced?


Must be, drilling is anotehr of those lefty myths.
 
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Golux13 wrote:
So gas production = fracking? That's the only way gas is produced?

About 90 percent of it.
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