The Butterfly Effect of (Bad) News
After yesterday's Webworm, the Herald removed the urban myth masquerading as news. But they refuse to comment - and the bullshit goes even deeper.
Yesterday’s newsletter examined how an urban myth (about a child identifying as a cat) had spread throughout the media.
The media in America, the media in Australia, and now the media in New Zealand. It highlighted the problems involved in aggregated news — as the news we’re fed becomes increasingly deranged.
As the weekend hits, I had a few updates that I think are telling.
Firstly — after I published that newsletter — the Herald quietly removed the story.
I think it’s safe to assume that if I hadn’t mentioned it, the urban myth would have remained at the Herald, masquerading as real news.
I reached out to the GM of communications at NZME (who owns the Herald) with a list of fairly simple questions:
I am writing a followup to today’s Webworm piece on the urban myth printed as news on the Herald:
I would like to seek comment from The Herald (ideally Shane Curry) about this. These are my questions:
1) I understand the Herald has removed the urban myth about a student identifying as a cat. Is this correct? And if so, why was it removed?
2) What are the Herald's policies about checking the validity of the news they run, specifically news from other news sites like News.com.au?
3) How can Herald readers trust the news they are reading is correct?
4) Are you noticing an increase in agenda-driven content (including transphobic pieces like the cat fiction) being passed off as news?
5) Is there anything else you would like to add?
Thanks, my deadline is 8pm today please.
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