Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Oops CNN Does it again

Here's the headline: Retail sales drop for 6th straight month

Here's the Sub Head: Slump is the longest in at least four decades.

Pretty dire huh? Ready to cut your wrists yet?

Don't give up hope yet though, buried deep in the article is this: Of the $9.4B drop in sales between November and December, just over half was due to the plunge in gas prices, which pushed gas sales down by $4.9B, or 15.9%.

So, rather than going with a headline that says something like "Retail Sales Drop Driven by Falling Gas Prices", which would be true, instead they go with the end of the world scenario.

Never mind that six months ago gas prices were at an all time high and people were ready to go through the village with torches and pitchforks to hunt down oil executives, or that the real drop in retail sales is more like under 2.4%, let's REALLY scare the crap out of people with our headlines!

People are frightened about their economic future and that's understandable, but it would really help if the fourth estate would step up to the bar and start trying to make things better rather than worse. All they have to do is start reporting the news rather than trying to sell it with supermarket tabloid headlines.

read the article here

5 comments:

Una Malachica said...

good catch

ella144 said...

Ridiculous, isn't it? I'm tired of the doomsday reports and the dire prophecies. Everything is bad. Nothing is good.

Just like gossip, bad news sells better than good.

However a gentle reminder: media services do not exist as a beneficent service to mankind. They exist to make money. They are not philanthropists, they are capitalists.

And there is really only one way to change a capitalist...

Sandi said...

Maybe it's because members of the fourth estate are scared themselves.

A. Boyd C. said...

Sandi:

That actually is something I think about a lot. Journalism, as we know it, is changing so fast that it's having a brutal effect on the people in the industry.

My heart really goes out to especially print journalists who are having to go through the crisis of that revolution in the middle of this economic winter.

CNN though, they're the king of the hill. If anything, the revolution in journalism is making them stronger.

Electronic journalism is playing a growing part of our lives and with print journalism contracting, companies like CNN and Fox and the rest simply must take a more responsible role.

You'll never see me criticize print journalism like I do electronic journalism (unlike some other local blogs) If anything, I'd like to see the electronic model itself more after some of the better angels of print journalism.

Heck, at this point, I'd like to see them model themselves more after their own medium before the advent of cable.

Where have you gone Walter Cronkite, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

Sandi said...

There is no substitute for in-depth coverage of the news. You simply cannot get a total picture from 1-minute clips and colorful soundbites. Print journalism is dying or dead. But I hope that it will continue in some form, even if just the blogosphere. That's something. You know I have ink in my veins, but in my biased view, I believe that a strong press is vital to a strong democracy.