Story time; report!

Saturday is generally a home day, relax day, get lots of personal work done day.  Many people enjoy listening to the radio or video feeds at this time, some of which are news or public interest stories.  My wife enjoys NPR, whereas my old men breakfast bunch prefers FOX.  I enjoy silence.

What they forget, and what we as students of behavior must never forget, is that these “reporters” are telling a story.  They do not “report” anything, in the sense that they are reading a list of facts.  No listener would be able to stand that.  So they relate the facts within a greater context, told from their particular perspective.  The old men can’t stand the perspective of NPR, and my wife can’t stand the perspective of FOX.  We’ll talk about quality another day.

We, noble student of behavior, must remember that their perspective is one of many.  The facts are always questionable and should be verified.  Any overlay of emotion upon the story only serves to make it a tastier dish, but does not add digestible content.

Reporters are a relatively new profession in our society, and as such they represent progress of our civilization.  However, unless we understand how “news” is published, and what the limitations are within their profession, such stories can serve to make our jobs harder than they need to be.

As scientists, we need to remember one thing – it’s only the facts that count.

Report that.


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