An amusing juxtaposition I came across I thought I’d share for both readers of this blog (Hi mom!).
Revenue numbers for Facebook recently leaked online. In perusing the teach headlines the day the news broke, I came across the story in multiple online news outlets. The facts were relatively straightforward—Facebook reportedly had around $3.5 Billion in cash on hand. Yet the first three news stories I came across positioned the news in three entirely different ways. Not slightly different, entirely different:
The Sensationalizer: (Gawker)
The Doomsdayer: (Business Insider)
Just the Facts, Ma’am: (The Guardian)
Of course the sources for the headlines I cited are outlets many of us avoid as sources for our news. And, it’s not a new phenomenon that news outlets spin news towards their own agendas. Yet the days of turning to our print newspapers whose angle on the news we prefer as our only source of news are long gone. Regular consumers of news online will inevitably click into news stories from varied and distinct websites and without proper awareness we run the risk of being unduly influenced on the subject matter by conclusive headlines.
So it bears reminding ourselves that when we consume news online, we do so with an eye toward not being influenced by headlines and drawing our own conclusions about events based strictly on the facts, we will be best served as modern-day news and media consumers.
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- About the Author
Nathan Safran is a former Analyst at Forrester Research where he covered the Digital Home. While at Forrester, Nathan authored research studies on trends, attitudes and behaviors of consumers toward technology adoption and use.
Nathan has been quoted as a subject matter expert in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Fortune magazine. Currently, Nathan heads the Research Department at Conductor, Inc an SEO Technology Platform firm.
Nathan writes at exceljockey.com about the intersection of Business, Technology and Psychology. See the About page for more info. Follow Nathan on Twitter: @Nathan_Safran