Glenn's Junk Chest

An assortment of Glenn's writings, photography, gaming resources, flash movies, and other creative output.


Thursday, April 21, 2005

Media: Press Hits

Thanks to Slashdot, I found an article on how PR firms seed the media with stories. When they succeed, it's called a "press hit", and it's better than any ad. Fascinating stuff.
Remember the exercises in critical reading you did in school, where you had to look at a piece of writing and step back and ask whether the author was telling the whole truth? If you really want to be a critical reader, it turns out you have to step back one step further, and ask not just whether the author is telling the truth, but why he's writing about this subject at all.

4 Comments:

At 8:34 AM, Anonymous Dr John K said...

Although it's a few years old now, the book Toxic Waste Is Good for You also provides some insight into the practice. In a bolshie town such as Madison, you should have no problem finding it.

 
At 11:31 AM, Anonymous Kit said...

I always wondered where those types of statistics came from. Although I knew that statistics can be used to say whatever you want them to say, I somehow thought that these reporters were actually gathering the numbers using proven mathematical sampling methods. I don't usually consider myself as naive, but I never would have thought that these kinds of numbers were just picked out of the air like this article suggests.

 
At 12:57 PM, Anonymous Dr John K said...

Ah, but remember that 67.32% of statistics are made up on the spot.

 
At 1:54 PM, Blogger Seth said...

That's a terrific article, Glenn. Thanks for the link.

 

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