Something that bothers me in the media is when something is purposefully misleading for the point of getting views and thus bringing in more ad revenue. It's called click bait, if you've ever read an article and then you scroll down to see a bunch of phony articles like, “ten secrets dermatologists don't want you to know”. I want to find some of these misleading articles/ads/clickbait to figure out how they are misleading and why what they're doing is wrong solely for profit/views.
I started on YouTube by typing in coronavirus and the first results I got were for live streams, below the first video was for nbc. The third video down was NBC titled “Dr. Gupta Discusses 6 New Coronavirus Symptoms Added by CDC” and had a hashtag for #DrGupta. First of all, the title makes it appear to be talking about Sanjay Gupta who has been a prominent doctor and reporter during the epidemic, but it was a different doctor named Vin Gupta. It makes me wonder why they didn't write out his full name in the title. Secondly the 6 new symptoms were already known to the public, the news was just reporting that the CDC officially acknowledges it, which again is misleading as nothing new was learned from the broadcast. Thankfully the comment section agreed, this wasn't very honest reporting.
I decided to stick with coronavirus for my second piece as it dominates the news. I searched on google and actually had a difficult finding something like my last piece as the articles are better filtered and more serious. I eventually found a news article by the new york times of all places titled “U.S. Coronavirus Death Toll is Far Higher than Reported, C.D.C. Data Suggests” the article then explains why the toll is much higher than it usually is because more people are dying of other causes than coronavirus due to the state of the country's infrastructure. Although this is true, I feel as though it is misleading as the title suggests that people are dying from the virus at a higher rate than expected, The words “Coronavirus Death Toll”. Although my assumption wasn't true, is it possible that the title was worded in that way just to get people to click on it because they might have thought the same thing I did? I'm not saying that the article is a sham though, it is actually very insightful to the death rates of 2020 compared to other years. My only problem is that the title was tricky. Why couldn't the title have read, “More people dying due to non coronavirus related causes”?
Both of these sources were within the top three results per website. It is so easy to find something that isn't honest on the internet, especially when the outcome for getting more clicks and views is revenue. The real challenge is having the right instincts and knowing when something is fake.