All personal judgements aside on Miley Cyrus. This one’s against ABC.
On Oct. 7 the news organization posted a link: [ http://abcnews.go.com/Health/miley-cyrus-tongue-health/story?id=20497613 ] to its Twitter account.
Now I know one should never rest all faith in a news organization, but I find that ABC does a nice job with news coverage. It has nice interactive graphics, make its broadcasts simple and pays more attention to getting the news right than to getting it out first.
But this article, under the headline: What Miley Cyrus’ Tongue Says About Her Health, is outrageous. It’s by no means newsworthy. It does not apply to ABC’s audience and uses a legitimate source (a doctor from NYU) in a poor light. I am not sure if the article is meant to inform or generate laughs.
From a journalist perspective the multimedia is fitting to the headline, but not much of the written content. Miley Cyrus is used as a brief segway into a longer and deeper issue of detecting cancers by analyzing one’s tongue. It is suggestive, and if not read carefully, could mean accusations and invalid evaluations of Cyrus’ tongue.
This piece of journalism is a reminder to me that we, journalists, do not go out looking for stories, but let stories come to us. Or else we too will face the ridicule on Twitter, mocking our story choice. Just because there is no big headline-worthy news, does not mean a journalist can put two stories together like a mismatched puzzle.
If I had to guess, the clicks to this content are solely based on the fact that Cyrus is involved. If we put a non-celebrity name on the headline the content is no longer appealing.
Though an interesting attempt to blur lines and mesh entertainment, news and science together, it does not work well for ABC. But again, perhaps if this serves as a wake-up call for some people (lured to the article through big names) it did some justice.
Note to audience: I did make it through this entire article.
Note to self: re-evaluate where I get my news from.