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TOPIC: Edward Snowden Leaks Drastic New Security Measures

Edward Snowden Leaks Drastic New Security Measures 03 Apr 2014 23:04 #4581

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This week the LA Weekly put out it's April Fool's edition, which included a piece written by the music editor Ben Westhoff about Edward Snowden (of WikiLeaks fame) releasing information about Drastic New Coachella Security Measures. I chose tho discuss this article both because it presents an example of fearless journalism (done in part by Edward Snowden releasing classified government documents as a service to protect and inform the public), and yellow journalism (on my editor's part, albeit it was done satirically).

Snowden clearly has more important things to worry about than Coachella security, however, this is a great example of how a sensationalized headline grabs reader's attention. Today we had our weekly blog meeting at the LA Weekly office, where it was discussed that the story had over 55,000 views (which is a lot for 2 days, trust me). We also discussed how people commented that Coachella was going too far with security, that concert goers were concerned about their rights and privacies while attending the concert, only to completely miss the jokes embedded by my editor. I bring this up because had these concerned readers finished the piece, they would have certainly known that it was an April Fool's joke, not to be taken seriously. However (and I'm guilty of this, too) most readers didn't read the whole thing, they only clicked the crazy headline and scanned the first page of the story.

That's what tabloids aim for; they aren't really concerned with reporting the truth, just getting people to click (or essentially "buy") the article based on it's exaggerated, sensationalized headline.

Overall, I think the moral of this week's lesson, as well as the article I've cited, is that we need to be careful what we trust in the media, because some people are just out to fool us.
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