Kathryn's Blog

If It Bleeds, It Leads

Sometimes, it’s a pretty slow day in the newsroom, and the reporters have to huff and puff to get a headline. Here’s a good example of the old media adage “If it bleeds, it leads.” In this piece that looks as if it was written for TV, the reporter talks to one Internet dater who said “dishonest online daters forced her to go back to more old fashioned methods to meet men.” Cut to the local sheriff who says “...it’s a very dangerous thing to do and we advice people not to do it.” Then to a local cybercafe for a bit more positive message.

Gawd, what a superficial piece. But an excellent example of cranked up media hysteria meant to frighten.

Here in Mississippi, slow days in the press room are all too regular. I hear on the local TV stations one promo after the other about potholes, cockroaches, and the like, all with the tagline “Who’s accountable! Find out tonight on—- News!” They can make a Tootsie Roll sound like a lethal weapon. Internet dating is an easy target. It’s new, popular, and anxiety-provoking. Remember that lying, dating deception, date rape, and domestic violence were not born on the Internet. All of those have been around since men and women got up onto two feet. So don’t be taken in by the hype. The media is selling newspapers and Fix-o-dent. They need to get your attention, and fear is one of the best ways they’ve come up with yet.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord



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