I’m all for sensational journalism (see title), in regards to getting readers’ attention. That’s the whole point right? Reel them in with an outrageous title and maybe a picture. I think it’s even more interesting when that particular comment or picture doesn’t accurately describe what the piece is about. For example – look at this picture on the front cover of the KSU Collegian:
Possibility of Impending Doom (PID)
This picture would spark thoughts that cows are a biohazard – obviously that is a FALSE OBSERVATION. However, it definitely grabbed my attention (especially since it was on the front page) and got me to read the whole story, “Vet Students Prepare for Outbreaks”, which was another misrepresentation of the story. The story was actually about 4 KSU vet students (one of which was my old roommate, Michelle Colgan) that spent their summers learning about and preparing for “emergency management and public health, including proper use of protective gear, setting up decontamination sites for mock crime scenes, doing blood draws and performing necropsies, or post-mortem examinations.” These practices would be necessary if bioterrorism were ever to occur in Kansas or if a disease like foot-and-mouth were ever to break. The headline implies that there is a biohazardous outbreak looming on the horizon and that vet students are scampering around in havoc preparing for the possibility of impending doom aka PID (that title had a point), when in all acuality the students are just learning precautionary measures.
I commend the author of that article for successfully demanding the attention of anyone who picked up a Collegian today. Well done – however, I sincerely hope that non-ag types took the time to read more than just the headline….
Until next time,