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Category: Pseudo/fiction news

Winner of best fake news headline award: “UK researchers warn of only ’50 percent’ success for COVID vaccine trial | Fox News”

Winner of best fake news headline award: “UK researchers warn of only ’50 percent’ success for COVID vaccine trial | Fox News”

Headline makes it sound like there is only a 50% chance the Oxford vaccine will work against Covid-19. But that is not what this is about – at all. The real world incidence of Covid-19 is falling rapidly and might be so low that they are unable to see how the vaccine effects individuals contracting Covid-19 – because you can’t get the disease if the disease has largely vanished.

The researchers think that because of this, there is a 50% chance they will have insufficient data by September to say the vaccine meets requirements by then – and the tests may take longer. The headline is intended to lead you astray and emotionally thinking “Oh no! Vaccines won’t work”, which has been a mainstay of speculative scary reporting for the past 2 months.

Journalism: Story refutes its own headline

Journalism: Story refutes its own headline

Time Magazine ran with the headline “Accidental Poisonings Rise After Trump Disinfectant Comments”; the headline, however, is refuted by the story’s own text. In fact, the rise in accidental poisoning began six weeks before Trump’s bizarre comments, and was part of a longer term trend in an increase in accidental poisoning. The sharp increase that began in February was due to many people acquiring and misusing (and making accessible to children) alcohol-based sanitizers and bleach.

“The Market for Depressing Predictions Is Booming”

“The Market for Depressing Predictions Is Booming”

The media focuses on doom and gloom based frequently on rampant speculation. No one “reports” anymore. Instead, they prognosticate and speculate about the future with made up gloom and doom, most of which makes no logical sense. The reason for the gloom and doom is due to an odd bit of psychology. Negative information always takes precedence over positive information – it is a basic survival mechanism to pay attention to bad things. The media know this. And strangely enough, news consumers seek out more bad news to validate their feelings of anxiety.