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  • Geebo 9:33 am on March 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: auto loans, , , news media   

    Misleading Media: Machinations of Malice or Misguiding for Money? 

    Misleading Media: Machinations of Malice or Misguiding for Money?

    There’s an old adage attributed to Edgar Allan Poe that says “Believe nothing you hear, and only one half that you see.” In an era where the term ‘fake news’ has become so prevalent in our culture that saying couldn’t be any more apropos. Misleading headlines, known as clickbait, dominate social media. They’re used to try to elicit an immediate and emotional response from readers to garner as many clicks and shares as possible. In return higher clicks, likes, and shares lead to increased advertising revenues which keep the lights on for one more day at whatever media outlet is posting the purported content.

    For example, there was a recent media kerfuffle in the economy sections of most news outlets stating that the auto loan industry was in freefall due to the number of delinquent loans. However, as the National Automobile Dealers Association points out, when the numbers are viewed in a proper context and given the right perspective, the industry is actually healthier than it has been. But by saying an industry is doing well doesn’t generate any clicks or views. So the facts get a little twisted in order to fit a narrative that the media would rather tell.

    So, why is the media doing this? Is it some grand conspiracy to try to hide the truth from an unsuspecting public? No, the truth is a lot less bombastic as that. Traditional media such as print and TV have been on a steady decline for years and were slow to adopt an online strategy and by the time they did, there was already a generation of new media outlets that were taking advertising dollars from them. In order to compete, old media had to adopt new tactics to try to draw readers and viewers back, and if old media is engaging in questionable tactics that gives newer media license to do the same and the cycle continues. However, that’s no excuse for the media’s actions.

    So how should you, the consumer, react to inflammatory headlines and stories? When you come across one of these stories you should always take them with a grain of salt. It never hurts to be a little skeptical. If you find a story that particularly grabs your emotional attention try to find other legitimate sources that corroborate or disprove what you’ve just read. And if at all possible, try to keep your political biases at bay as political opinion can often prejudice us against the truth and many misleading media outlets are counting on that.

    The media has every right to stay in business short of libel and slander. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be more savvy consumers of content. If the media won’t do it for us it’s up to us to discern the facts from the falsities.

     
  • Geebo 10:33 am on December 4, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , news media   

    Another government wants to investigate Facebook 

    Another government wants to investigate Facebook

    In the wake of the Russian ad scandal, and its fake news problem, many in the US have been calling for federal regulation of companies like Facebook. Now another major world government is set to investigate Facebook for anti-competitive practices. The Australian government has announced their intentions to investigate companies including Facebook and Google believing those companies are harming Australian news media.

    It’s widely believed that between Facebook and Google, the two companies control close to 40% of all media advertising in Australia. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will be investigating the two tech giants along with any other digital platforms that affect the quality of news media in the country.

    Thanks to Facebook’s pervasive influence on our lives, many media outlets have sacrificed quality in order to get clicks and pageviews. They are forced to fight against less than reputable news sources and false memes that are viewed as gospel by some, making true journalism in this and other countries a rare occurrence.

     
  • Greg Collier 6:24 am on September 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Adrian Peterson, , news media, , , ,   

    NFL Under Fire: What Happens after the Buck Stops? 

    perceptionFor sake of full disclosure, I’m a big fan of NFL football – the rivalries, the loyalty of the fans, the final-second plays that lead to victories and upsets. What I’m not a fan of is the off-the-field behavior that has dominated headlines early in this season.

    In a league as large as the NFL, there’s bound to be a few bad seeds in the bunch. But the gravity of these allegations – domestic abuse, child abuse, sexual assault and more – have put a spotlight on the NFL’s inability to control bad behavior. Sure, the league issued fines and suspensions – but for the most part, those sorts of punishments are just for show. As soon as a player makes a big play on the field, the coaches, the owners, the league – and even the fans – are quick to forgive.

    But as NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has learned in recent weeks, there’s no touchdown or interception out there – no matter how dramatic – that is going to give the NFL a free pass on this latest controversy.

    That’s why Goodell, the guy who stands where the buck stops, held a press conference to announce the efforts that he’s taking to… actually, we don’t really know what he’s going to do to make things better. He talked about making mistakes and learning from them. He mentioned something about committees and policies and changes that should be in place by the Super Bowl.

    It’s no wonder that Goodell’s face was splattered across newspaper tabloids with headlines that read: “That’s it?”

    Goodell summoned the press because his old-stand-by actions of issuing meaningless fines and minor suspensions wasn’t enough to make all of this go away. By the time he faced the press, the story had shifted away from the players and their bad behavior. Instead, the public had made Goodell the face of the controversy.

    Goodell missed an opportunity to make things right with that press conference. He could have stepped up and talked about zero tolerance policies and mandatory training programs that were being put into place across the league, effective immediately. Instead, he went on and on about making mistakes and how changes were coming – months from now, once we get to the end of the season and fans start shifting their attention.

    Earlier this year, I chimed in about the controversy surrounding the now-former owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, Donald Sterling. At the time, I noted that the boss – even if he’s the owner of a professional sports team – always answers to someone. There is no free pass against bad behavior, no matter who you are. Fast forward to today and the Sterling is no longer the owner of the Clippers.

    It kind of makes me wonder if Goodell is next to go.

    Maybe it’s unfair to compare Goodell to Sterling. After all, Sterling let garbage spew from his mouth and then made no apology for it. Goodell, by contrast, hasn’t been videotaped smacking a woman around in an elevator.

    But, in the court of public opinion, is there any difference?

    It’s never good when the boss gets busted spewing racist remarks. But some might say it’s even worse when the boss knows about bad behavior – and then seems to turn a blind-eye to it. You might argue that point with me – but, perception is a real thing. And it definitely matters.

    Let’s be honest. Goodell’s press conference had nothing to do with the off-the-field actions of its players. It had nothing to do with Goodell’s softball response to those actions. No, this press conference was all about Goodell saving his job and saving face for the league.

    Given his handling of the entire situation, it seems that the only way the league can save face on this one is to start thinking about a new commissioner, someone who will get it right when it matters most.

     
    • LadyT 9:20 am on September 23, 2014 Permalink

      Goodell and the NFL should remember another leader that turned a blind eye – Joe Paterno. Too many innocent victims in the name of Football!

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