How online news manipulates your perspectives on events by running the same story each day

How online news manipulates your perspectives on events by running the same story each day

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In the old days, we received most of our news in printed newspapers that were distributed each morning, or in some cities, each afternoon. Each day’s paper contained a set of stories – none of which were repeated in subsequent editions.

Modern “newspapers” publish on the web. A story that runs on Monday is often left in place on their web page for days or sometimes even weeks. Literally, the same story, the same headline.

Such stories take on an presence, day after day. These stories are typically about a subject that inflames emotions. The effect of placing these stories on semi-permanent displays is to distort the reader or viewers perception of the importance of the story.

Some local TV news web sites are worse, planting the same story on their web page for months. .

These stories – again, often those that inflame an emotional response – are likely used as “click bait” to drive advertising click thru.

As such, these are intended as propaganda messaging – at a minimum they are encouraging readers to engage with the advertising (literally to adopt someone else’s agenda). But often times they are on topics that are intended to create an emotional response and to encourage actions by the viewer, including leading to changes in public policy. This is no longer news reporting but propaganda by mass media.

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