In part one of this series, we looked at some of the hallmarks of sloppy pesticide reporting. We round out our analysis here with a breakdown of three more themes common to this species of junk journalism.
Fear sells, which is why news outlets provide so much of it. But constant bad news is bad for our health. Turn off the TV and social media.
Elvis is still alive. Osama bin Laden is still alive. Paul McCartney is dead. These are just a handful of the conspiracy theories involving the alive/dead status of various famous people. Now, we can add Steve Jobs to the list.
Too many journalists are experts in nothing and behave like partisans and activists. That's how a journalist can go on social media and celebrate that her poor reporting caused a company to lose hundreds of millions in market capitalization.
The prevalence of cigarette smoking among American adults is at an all-time low. Many media outlets decided to downplay or ignore this milestone public health achievement and instead scare people about vaping.
Over the past decade, Americans' trust in the news media has collapsed. However, it can be restored, if the media dedicates itself to accuracy and correcting its mistakes. As we are learning Americans care less about a media outlet's political slant than its dedication to the truth.
It was discovered that Ali Watkins, the newspaper's national security reporter, slept with a source who was an aide to the Senate Intelligence Committee. That source has now been arrested as part of an investigation into leaks of classified information. A breakdown in journalistic ethics, to say the least.
One of the biggest problems of our hyperpartisan culture is that everything has been turned into a morbid game show. Gone are the days when politicians and the media acted in the best interest of the American people. Instead, we have manufactured controversy and faux outrage over the most mundane of events. Instead of world news, we get 24/7 coverage of the President's Twitter feed. And instead of serious analysis, we get programming that resembles some horrifying merger of Family Feud, Hunger Games, and Real Housewives of New Jersey.
With 32 G.O.P lawmakers retiring it can be said that the media narrative about a "wave" of Republicans leaving Congress is wrong. Here are the stats behind that assessment.
These days having a conversation about politics and the state of our nation often devolves into an ideological pitched battle of wills. That's why this year my Christmas wish is for 24-hours of argument-free discourse.
When confronted with the truth, a prominent science journalist claimed that facts don't matter in op-eds. Science journalism is dead.
Facebook, a site from which a substantial number of people acquire their daily news, has decided that pages that post fake stories will be banned from advertising. That's a perfectly fine decision, but it raises a bigger and more profound question: Who decides which news is fake? Mark Zuckerberg?