Tweets are read 100s or 1000s of times more than the items they link to.
Headlines are read 10s to 100s of times more than the first paragraph of an article.
And that last paragraph of a long article? If it is one percent of those seeing the headline, it was a truly well read story.
To give a sense, in one study
roughly six in 10 people acknowledge that they have done nothing more than read news headlines in the past week.
That’s right — assuming that this data point is roughly on target generally, perhaps 60% of people don’t go past the headline or the tweet in ‘reading’ when it comes to news.
Thus, headlines and tweets matter.
In Washington, DC, tens of thousands (perhaps hundreds of thousands, including many Virginians) rallied as people spoke from a true podium to speak truth to power, the Lincoln Memorial.
— A Siegel (@A_Siegel) January 20, 2018
— Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) January 20, 2018
In New York, over 200,000 were in the streets.
Over 200,000 people took to the street yesterday in New York City to fight for the future of their country. It was the one year anniversary of one of the greatest protests in American history, and it was a promise to keep the fight going. https://t.co/U2ZBaOnao3
— Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) January 21, 2018
Asheville, North Carolina easily topped 10,000.
Asheville, North Carolina #WomensMarch2018
What a statement!! This is America! pic.twitter.com/5LGVlkW4WI
— Brian Krassenstein🐬 (@krassenstein) January 20, 2018
Austin, Texas might just have had the largest political gathering in Texas history.
— Bishop Talbert Swan (@TalbertSwan) January 20, 2018
In Los Angeles, the official count is that 500,000 were out in the streets to state that America is not Trump.
Women's March LA: 600k people
Women's Marc h Chicago: 250k people
Women's March NYC: 100k+ people
Donald Trump: Shuts down US Government
— Brian Krassenstein🐬 (@krassenstein) January 21, 2018
In cities and towns around the nation, pussy hats were out in force on the first day of #TrumpShutdown
— CNN (@CNN) January 21, 2018
Women (and those standing with them) gathered, in force, to state clearly: we are not standing idly by as you damage the nation, that we will rally, we will march, we will register, we will knock on doors, we will mobilize, we will vote, and we will take back American democracy.
Trump has been highly successful: in motivating millions in disgust and dismay with #PutinsPuppet and his Republican enablers/co-conspirators.
Remember that time 100’s of thousands of Tea Partiers took to the streets to protest President Obama on his one year anniversary? Me neither. #WomensMarch2018
— Randi Mayem Singer (@rmayemsinger) January 20, 2018
In the face of the 100,000s (actually, millions) across America, here is how The New York Times (no, this isn’t Fox News, Breitbart, or the Wall Street Journal) headlined their story:
A few days after handing over their editorial page to letters from Trump supporters, a few months after publishing a paean to the normality of Nazis, after a year of publishing story after story seeking to humanized Trump-istas, two years after unending #HillaryEmails coverage and minimizing of Trump’s criminality (and incompetence and racism and immorality and …), The New York Times is determined to demonstrate that they still don’t “get it” in terms of honest reporting in the time of Trump.
The fact is, “facts matter.” So sure, it is true that “thousands of protesters take to the streets”; after all, a million is a thousand thousands, a billion a million thousands. As you can see, The Times headline is technically true, even as it is absolutely not truthful.
Take a moment to consider two options:
- “Thousands protested…”
- “Hundreds of thousands protested …”
Which catches — demands — your attention more?
When there are perhaps a million protesters out in the streets, which is a more accurate, more truthful description?
Unfortunately, this latest transgression, getting a headline wrong, is not an isolated item at The Times – from tweets to articles to publishing Trumpista opeds, the Times has gone off the rails.
On the anniversary weekend of the 2017 Women's March, the New York Times published this puff piece https://t.co/Npr0PghSzF
About the same woman who compared gun owners to rape survivors. Nice.
— Cydney Hargis (@CydEHargis) January 20, 2018
The Times too often normalizes the abnormal, helps give cover to the GOP/Trump kakistocracy (government by the least ethical and least competent members of society), and makes it that much harder to resist Trump’s authoritarian tendencies and restore American representative democracy. For a discussion as to *why* The Times seems, too often, to seek to kiss Trump’s ring, see How Donald Trump hacked the New York Times. It begins:
Donald Trump is a manipulator, as most bullies are. Like all bullies, he looks for weaknesses and exploits them relentlessly. He did this to the New York Times during the presidential campaign. He continues to do so today.
And it continues with reasons why The Times lays prostrate before the “nearly obese”, “very stable genius” Trump.
While The New York Times searches haystacks for that last Trump supporter:
Looking at the sheer size of the protests happening across the country, it's clear the Resistance is the most underestimated, unappreciated, and underreported political movement in modern American history.
— Matt McDermott (@mattmfm) January 20, 2018
When it comes to #TrumpShutdown, The Times isn’t avoiding opportunities to lay blame on Democratic Party politicians
Looks like the Trump White House wrote the NYTimes lead on the #TrumpShutdown: “Senate Democrats blocked a spending bill on Friday night that would have prevented a government shutdown.” https://t.co/MJ79rDoZyx
— John Dean (@JohnWDean) January 20, 2018
Inside the room: House GOP read out headlines of NYT and AP, among others, and talked up idea this is a Dem-causes shutdown, per person there. Person adds that GOP holding to position and believe Senate Dems have to move toward them…
— Robert Costa (@costareports) January 20, 2018
Here, for example, is a more accurate headline: Hundreds of Women’s Marches, hundreds of thousands of marchers show the resistance is going strong.
Here, courtesy of Oliver Willis, is a more appropriate title for what happened across American today.
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) January 20, 2018
Sticking with Oliver Willis:
dear liberals, the new york times hates you, trolls you, and you should stop enabling them. https://t.co/rXIKvWvarN
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) January 20, 2018
In terms of important journalistic voices in the age of Trump, of traditional print (“dead tree”/”corporate”) media, there are two key institutions: The New York Times (“The Truth is More Important Now than Ever”) and The Washington Post (“Democracy Dies in Darkness”). Both papers have a strong pool of excellent reporters, have done some excellent reporting re the Trump kakistocracy’s abuse of power and criminality. But they also have too many problems in their reporting style(s) by too many of their reporters and editors.
With NYTimes social media policy kowtowing to #alternativefacts world, with NYTimes soft-porn pieces on Nazis and NRA leaders, with too many NYTimes’ items normalizing the abnormal, many media watchers are putting The Post ahead of The Times when it comes to fulfilling journalistic standards and journalistic principles.
there is a timidity to some of the Times’ political coverage — a deep institutional need to offer balance when the truth is overwhelmingly on one side, to cover Trump as though he is an undisciplined, falsehood-spewing, but essentially normal president.
In the Times, Trump’s awfulness is too often portrayed as a matter of degree rather than of evidence that our media and political system is fundamentally broken. Dan Kennedy, WGBH
— Jay Rosen (@jayrosen_nyu) January 20, 2018
While The Washington Post has its (quite serious) problems (some examples: when Trump tweeted about the Northam-Gillespie race; another re Manafort’s arrest; a thoughtless endorsement of Tom Price for Secretary of HHS; and …) that merit addressing (not repeating), when it came to Saturday’s marches Post subscribers opening the paper (sadly, “opening” is right because it was A3 and not front page) weren’t fed the true, but truthless, headline of “thousands of protesters” but learned that
hundreds of thousands of activists once again took to the streets to protest the policies and presidency of Donald Trump
“Thousands of protesters” or “hundreds of thousands of activists” … when it comes to Women’s March reporting, The Post‘s staff reaffirmed (at least on this Sunday) why this household chooses The Post over The Times.