residence > Blog > Crisis interaction > The $16 muffin: A perfect instance of sensationalized reporting and also how the media ignores the truth

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There’s an old adage in journalism that unfortunately reeks of some truthfulness: Don’t let the facts acquire in the method of a an excellent story.

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Having skilled it from the newsroom and as a crisis communicator, the facts often do play second fiddle come the juiciness the a an excellent story and also a snappy teaser or headline. The latest example of this is the situation of the $16 muffin.

The media lower on the news the the justice Department invested $16 every muffin during a conference, an example of government waste throughout a time when everyone is pinching pennies.

It’s a an excellent story the is, however, not sustained by the facts. Hilton Worldwide, the hold of the convention, repeatedly said the $16 price tag consisted of not just breakfast baked-goods but also fresh fruit, coffee, tea, soft drinks, tax, and also tips.

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Huffington Post‘s Sam Stein take it a bigger photo look in ~ the coverage that the news story and found that the legend of the $16 muffin highlights the media’s sirloin to sensationalize outrage-inducing stories. He uncovered that the the 223 stories about “muffingate”:

•178 reported the story in a an essential manner or didn’t cite Hilton’s explanation.•37 report Hilton’s explanation or make the efforts to exactly the record.•8 played off the worry without taking a side.

The coverage, the writes, “shows how the political and media areas move much much faster to trumpet one outrage-inducing story than to set the document straight,” and how “reluctant the media and also politicians space to recognize that occasionally a legend is just a myth.”

A comment forum top top journalism think-tank Poynter about the skewered report of “muffingate” showed most were discouraged. Some dubbed it “sloppy reporting” and also “poor news management,” and one commenter claimed it is the same instance with crime stories: “Big rush to report early stage charges. Rarely, if ever, is over there follow-up to talk about what the criminal justice mechanism actually did.”

It all gets earlier to the headline, or teaser. “Justice department spends $16 every muffin” is good, and also much much better than “Justice department spends $16 for complete continental breakfast.” In this case, I’d go through “Media Reports of Justice room spending is half-baked.”