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Thread: Another case of media trying to get hits

  1. #1
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    Another case of media trying to get hits

    Saw this article and read the title which makes it seem monster black holes are flying around trying to get things. Then you read the article and says nothing of the sorts.

    https://www.google.ca/amp/s/metro.co...-12008996/amp/

    My favourite part is when he says
    “ Think of the fragile beauty of Earth, its lovely inhabitants and all the other wonders of our beautiful solar system

    Now imagine all that being swallowed up by a black hole of truly monstrous proportions. Not a pretty thought, is it?
    But that’s what popped into our minds when we heard that astronomers identified the heaviest black hole in the whole of the known universe”.

    But the he is nice To say “ Luckily, the dread colossus is 700 million light-years from Earth so there’s absolutely no chance it will ever eat us.“

    I still think media outlets should be help to better standards on there writing rules.

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    Well, don't get your science from a newspaper they give away at train stations.

    Grant Hutchison

  3. #3
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    As there doesn't seem to be a question here, I've moved this thread from Q&A to Small Media At Large
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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    I guess my question is since metro.co.uk is a reliable newspaper why would they post an article to make it seems the black holes are wandering around the universe but when you read the article clearly they are not. They even put quotes around the word wandering.

    Also why would they even mention a blackhole swallowing the earth if we already know something like that is not possible anytime in the near future? Is that not fear mongering

    Or am I misinterpreting the word wandering. To me wandering means it is moving around and can go anywhere. Same as this article uses the wording. If they are wandering (moving through the galaxy) then I assume they can wander there way into our solar system. If wandering means what it means.

    https://www.google.ca/amp/s/www.scie...-milky-way/amp

    So if the closest wandering one is 20 light years away how long would it take to reach us?
    Last edited by Sinbad; 2020-Jan-06 at 03:14 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sinbad View Post
    I guess my question is since metro.co.uk is a reliable newspaper why would they post an article to make it seems the black holes are wandering around the universe but when you read the article clearly they are not. They even put quotes around the word wandering.

    Also why would they even mention a blackhole swallowing the earth if we already know something like that is not possible anytime in the near future? Is that not fear mongering

    Or am I misinterpreting the word wandering. To me wandering means it is moving around and can go anywhere. Same as this article uses the wording. If they are wandering (moving through the galaxy) then I assume they can wander there way into our solar system. If wandering means what it means.

    https://www.google.ca/amp/s/www.scie...-milky-way/amp

    So if the closest wandering one is 20 light years away how long would it take to reach us?
    You’re not misinterpreting the word “wandering” you are misinterpreting the quality of the publication. A lot.

    The first word of the first paragraph is “scary” which is intended to stimulate a reader into wanting to know “why is this scary” and “should I be afraid?” And of course the answers are “they aren’t” and “no “.

    There are issues with publications such as space.com and others but they are far more likely to provide better reporting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sinbad View Post
    I guess my question is since metro.co.uk is a reliable newspaper ...
    Well, that turns out not to be true.
    The secret to dealing with these stories is to not read them in the first place, because they're pretty much guaranteed to be inaccurate, rather than fretting about the words they use, which are chosen in order to get readers, not to say anything useful.

    Grant Hutchison

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    So if wandering is really wandering then according to the article below the wandering one or closest one in our galaxy is 20 light years away. So how long is that in earth years of it was coming towards us? If I am not mistaken 1 light year is 137000 earth years away. So would 20 light years be 20 x 137000 earth years away?

    https://www.google.ca/amp/s/www.scie...-milky-way/amp

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    A light year is a measure of distance, not time - the distance travelled by light in a year. So nothing can cross a lightyear in less than a year, but most stuff (for instance stuff orbiting within our galaxy) will take tens of thousands of years to travel that distance.
    The alleged black hole in this story is 20 light years from the centre of the galaxy, not 20 light years from Earth. The centre of the galaxy is tens of thousands of light years away, so even if the black hole "wandered" in our direction, it would take millions of years to get here.
    Finally, "wander" is a bad choice of word, since the trajectory of this object will be determined by orbital mechanics, not some whimsical random walk.

    Grant Hutchison

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    Quote Originally Posted by schlaugh View Post
    <snip>
    The first word of the first paragraph is “scary” which is intended to stimulate a reader into wanting to know “why is this scary” and “should I be afraid?” And of course the answers are “they aren’t” and “no “.
    Local TV news outlets in the US (local meaning covering just a single city or metropolitan area) routinely do this kind of stuff. Early in the evening they will run commercials along the lines of "Tonight, on Channel 3 News, Are squirrels trying to start World War III?" or "Do tea cups give you brain cancer?", and when you watch the story on the news later that evening, the answer is always "no".
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    Early in the evening they will run commercials along the lines of "Tonight, on Channel 3 News, Are squirrels trying to start World War III?" ... the answer is always "no".
    Unless you have bird feeders.

    CJSF
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    Davy, Davy Crockett
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    Davy, Davy Crockett
    There's more than we were taught"

    -They Might Be Giants, "The Ballad Of Davy Crockett (In Outer Space)"


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  11. #11
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    And just to note, it is true that certain media (for example, tabloids) do it more than others, but it is really an endemic problem (if you want to call it a problem in the first place). I mean, I don't think this will come as a stunning confession, but I am a PR professional, and when I write a press release I absolutely think about how interesting I can make it seem without being incorrect. Because I want people to read the stuff I write. And the same goes for any media. Nobody writes articles without the hope that people will be interested, and we are actually taught to write in ways that create interest. So obviously, when a headline writer writes something that is incorrect, that's a problem, but in general, I don't think we can prevent hypothetical statements like, what would happen to the earth if a massive black hole came through our solar system.
    As above, so below

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    True, and I think there absolutely is a happy medium where an article in a newspaper like Metro (I still miss picking it up for free in undergrad, I have never been as up-to-date on the news since...) can contain enough accurate information to give a casual reader the gist and perhaps make them curious enough to seek out more information.
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    I stopped reading the Metro in Sydney when it showed a picture of the finally completed ISS taken by the last Shuttle to visit, under a headline "Just another day in the office".

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    Quote Originally Posted by loglo View Post
    I stopped reading the Metro in Sydney when it showed a picture of the finally completed ISS taken by the last Shuttle to visit, under a headline "Just another day in the office".
    That just sounds like a slightly overused joke (describing dangerous or unusual jobs as “just another day at the office/on the job for [person]”), I jokingly described Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s Wind, Sand and Stars the same way when I had to do a project on it in High School.
    The greatest journey of all time, for all to see
    Every mission makes our dreams reality
    And our destiny begins with you and me
    Through all space and time, the achievement of mankind
    As we sail the sea of discovery, on heroes’ wings we fly!

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    Quote Originally Posted by loglo View Post
    I stopped reading the Metro in Sydney when it showed a picture of the finally completed ISS taken by the last Shuttle to visit, under a headline "Just another day in the office".
    You did/do realize that was meant ironically or at least tongue-in-cheek, right? Otherwise, what was your objection to that specific thing?

    CJSF
    "Off went his rocket at the speed of light
    Flying so fast there was no day or night
    Messing around with the fabric of time
    He knows who's guilty 'fore there's even a crime

    Davy, Davy Crockett
    The buckskin astronaut
    Davy, Davy Crockett
    There's more than we were taught"

    -They Might Be Giants, "The Ballad Of Davy Crockett (In Outer Space)"


    lonelybirder.org

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