A Flurry of Stories

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John Gruber of Daring Fireball points out how the wire services can create the impression of a flurry of stories, a “drumbeat” in the media:

What’s great about an AP story like this one is that if you’re only paying attention to the headlines, it creates the impression that there are multiple reports from all over the web corroborating the same point, when in fact it’s just one story, repeated many times over by news publications that regurgitate whatever comes in over the AP wire.

Maybe this is old news to more savvy headline watchers than me, but since he pointed it out I now notice it all the time. Note, in particular, that each publication usually writes their own headline and subhead (Hey… Just like Lew!) which makes it seem like many different stories about the same point if you only scan headlines.

9:08 am on September 19, 2006
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