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Google's Experimental Newsroom Avoids Negative Headlines 109

Posted by Soulskill
from the giant-earthquake-provides-thousands-with-early-access-to-afterlife dept.
theodp writes: After Brazil's dramatic World Cup defeat by Germany, writes NPR's Aarti Shahani, Google's experimental newsroom focused on search trends that didn't rub salt in Brazil's wounds, choosing to not publish a single trend on Brazilian search terms. Copywriter Tessa Hewson said they were just too negative. "We might try and wait until we can do a slightly more upbeat trend." It's a decision that puzzles Shahani, but producer Sam Clohesy explained, "a negative story about Brazil won't necessarily get a lot of traction in social." In old-school newsrooms, if it bleeds, it leads. But because this new newsroom is focused on getting content onto everyone's smartphone, marketing expert Rakesh Agrawal says, editors may have another bias: to comb through the big data in search of happy thoughts.
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Google's Experimental Newsroom Avoids Negative Headlines

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  • by Gr33nJ3ll0 (1367543) on Friday July 11, 2014 @09:38AM (#47430679)
    Without the usual diet of bad stuff happening what will they use to feed their various fears and neuroses?
  • by l0ungeb0y (442022) on Friday July 11, 2014 @09:46AM (#47430735) Homepage Journal
    Thank you Google for protecting me from reality no one should have to know about bad things that happen, in fact, why should we know anything at all except for Google approved happy thoughts. Every year Google seems to do something that makes me hate them more and more. So fuck you Google - you're a bunch of authoritarian asshats who think you should control the information we have access to while trying to turn everyone into your personal little database to mine and sell info from. Just go fuck yourselves.
  • Hmmm ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Friday July 11, 2014 @09:47AM (#47430747) Homepage

    I don't want upbeat headlines. I want the news.

    That will include good and bad headlines.

    This sounds like a stupid idea, only tell people the upbeat things and let them live in blissful ignorance of what's actually happening in the world. The world doesn't work like that.

    What next, not telling us when governments misbehave, or when some atrocity happens so we don't all get sad?

  • by i kan reed (749298) on Friday July 11, 2014 @09:53AM (#47430789) Homepage Journal

    Worse than that. It's like Brave New World news. The only things fit to publish are the things that keep us happy(and thus amendable to advertisements in this case). It's not trying to make on specific entity look good, it's trying to engage in actual mind control via selection bias.

  • by jellomizer (103300) on Friday July 11, 2014 @10:17AM (#47430979)

    Here is the problem:
    Bad news is more interesting than good news. When people hear bad news it is a call to action that something needs to be done to stop it. Good news means you should just continue on and do what you have been doing.

    Now we get flooded with Bad News and that makes news junkies become paranoid and thinking the world is about to end, and this over extradition of the problem will cause them to try to do drastic action to try to fix it. Tea Party, Occupy Movement, Radical groups.

    Countries like China and North Korea, tries to give a bunch of good news, as a way to pacify the public. There is no interest in roping people in to watch the news every hour. So they do good news, to try to keep people passive and do what they already do. Ignoring real issues that are going on, causing the culture to stagnate.

    We really need a happy middle. Where we know what important is going on, without it seeming like the End of the World.

  • by dcw3 (649211) on Friday July 11, 2014 @10:24AM (#47431035) Journal

    How about instead of trying to spin it one way or the other, try publishing the facts. No real news entity should be spinning stories, but they obviously do in order to pull in a larger audience, or deliver their agenda (Fox, MSN).

    I'm really tired of these crappy stories that I see on local news meant to scare folks, or pull at their heartstrings. They really misguide peoples perceptions of reality.

  • Re:Hmmm ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Megol (3135005) on Friday July 11, 2014 @11:16AM (#47431443)

    So you want the news? Then this may be a more correct delivery than other news media.

    Traditional media tend to skip happy news (or do some short notices) while promoting violence, crimes etc. as the top news.

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