Local News and Online Reporting

WTHR has this story on their website:

Study: Omega 3 can save lives
Experts say beefing up intake of Omega 3 fatty acids can save lives more than AED’s and implanted defibrillators. Omega 3 is found in foods like fish and nuts, and some experts believe they can lower the risk for heart attack because of their ability to reduce inflammation.
By using a computer simulation, experts measured how well AED’s, implanted heart defibrillators and Omega 3 nutrients prevented sudden death. They found raising the levels of Omega 3 fatty acids in people’s diets would prevent sudden death eight times more than widely distributing AED’s, and two times more than implanted defibrillators.

That’s fascinating, and I immediately wanted to know more. But you know what? I can’t find out any more than that from the WTHR, because the above is all the web page shows. The story is okay if they’re just reading it on the evening news (although they really should be identifying who the “experts” in the story are) but it’s not fine online, where they have plenty of space to round out the story with more information. They SHOULD link off to the study in question at the very least. Presumably they got the information somewhere. Tell us where it came from. I guess it’s a short trip to google to figure out more detail, but I shouldn’t have to do that.
I remember journalism classes from college where we had to take the same story and write it in 10 different ways – one to be broadcast on the news, one to be a front-page newspaper story, one to be a featured article in a magazine, etc. There were standard elements that had to appear in each format, and the stories had to be “trimmed” in different ways to fit the alloted column inches of space. I get the impression that journalists don’t do that anymore.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. MJ

    You’re so right on this with one. It drives me up the freaking wall. I work my PR-magic to get airtime, am able to grab a link from the web to share, but it doesn’t loop back around to us… Or, the org name isn’t mentioned at all… As I suspect happened in this case. Freaking journalists… Can’t live with them, can’t live without them. TGIF!

  2. Vanessa

    I complain about this all the time with the Star. There are sections in the paper that read as if they are written entirely for the Web. But other sections are written more for print. So when you encounter those articles online, you’re completely overwhelmed. I think they should have one set of editors for print and another for online. The requirements are different.

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