November 22, 2013
We’ve Found the One Thing Elon Musk Doesn’t Understand: How the News Works

Arguably the brightest innovator alive, Elon Musk took to Twitter a couple of days ago to ask the world a question:
"Why does a Tesla fire w no injury get more media headlines than 100,000 gas car fires that kill 100s of people per year?"
Good question. Why do the "unjust" headlines so misrepresent the facts?
Saying he feels “pistol-whipped” by the recent coverage, Musk joins a long tradition of accomplished CEOs who bristle about the “illogical” behavior of the news media. Those bristlers have usually mastered the specific logic of their own field—say, business, law or science—and have unconsciously come to believe that the logic of their field can and should be applied universally. Often faced with public criticism for the first time in their careers, they tend to reject news logic as irrational, and view the negative reports as "unjust" personal mistreatment.  Some spend their entire careers fighting against the laws of news, while others eventually learn to use those laws to their own advantage. 
So, what are the laws of news logic that explain why a Tesla fire does indeed get more headlines? Here are the top five.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]

We’ve Found the One Thing Elon Musk Doesn’t Understand: How the News Works

Arguably the brightest innovator alive, Elon Musk took to Twitter a couple of days ago to ask the world a question:

"Why does a Tesla fire w no injury get more media headlines than 100,000 gas car fires that kill 100s of people per year?"

Good question. Why do the "unjust" headlines so misrepresent the facts?

Saying he feels “pistol-whipped” by the recent coverage, Musk joins a long tradition of accomplished CEOs who bristle about the “illogical” behavior of the news media. Those bristlers have usually mastered the specific logic of their own field—say, business, law or science—and have unconsciously come to believe that the logic of their field can and should be applied universally. Often faced with public criticism for the first time in their careers, they tend to reject news logic as irrational, and view the negative reports as "unjust" personal mistreatment.  Some spend their entire careers fighting against the laws of news, while others eventually learn to use those laws to their own advantage.

So, what are the laws of news logic that explain why a Tesla fire does indeed get more headlines? Here are the top five.

Read more. [Image: Reuters]

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  9. aristotlekevin reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    Sensationalized media sells…. it’s that simple
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  15. deelightfulhobbit reblogged this from futurejournalismproject and added:
    News values eh…
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