The media hype on shark attacks

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The media hype on shark attacks

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Despite Time magazine labeling it the “Summer of the Shark” and the prevailing perception that was a banner year for shark attacks, actual numbers were slightly down, a new University of Florida study shows. There are roughly eight fatal shark attacks a year around the world. Commercial fishing efforts, on the other hand, kill tens of millions of sharks annually yet the media gives more attention to shark bites. Shark Attacks: Woman Swims With Sharks to Prove Media Hype is Fear Mongering. By -Each year there are about 50 to 70 confirmed shark attacks and 5 to 15 shark attack fatalities around the.

It seemed everywhere you looked someone in the press was talking about the "Summer of the Shark. Last year, shark attacks off American beaches were hardly different from previous years. Most of the reports mentioned that, but that important truth got lost amid the blare and blur of frightening headlines and images.

Newsweek, for example, claimed Americans were being "driven to destruction" by road rage. In their report, they quoted a study saying we were "increasingly being shot, stabbed, beaten and run over. The hype surrounding the reporting blew the real dangers out of proportion.

Bob Lichter, president of the Center for Media and Public Affairs, which studies media coverage and has concluded that the media often distort or exaggerate threats. There should be more reports of reckless driving. But these things are going down instead of up. According to a Time magazine story, which based its information the AAA report, road rage was up 51 percent in the first half of the s.

Stefanie Faul, a spokeswoman for the AAA, said the consumer group based its analysis mostly on the number of road rage and aggressive driving incidents reported in the press.

It was a strange sort of circular logic that fueled the spiraling coverage of road rage. The AAA study looked at police reports as well, but was largely based on media accounts. Lichter said people have been yelling at each other in their cars for years.

Journalists just found a term for it. A few years back, Lichter noted, a person might come and complain that somebody yelled at them from his car. And before there was road rage, there were carjackings. McCrary said the mundane things pose greater risks on the road — things like drunken driving and failing to fasten our seat belts.

Sex and violence sells," he said. His organization noted that press coverage of murders increased by percent in the s, but the murder rate had fallen by half during the decade.

Lichter said, "Journalists unconsciously train themselves to look for the story that really rivets your attention. Perhaps because the media were busy covering the election. Back in there were 46 shark attacks, but the spotlight was on O.

Inthe Monica Lewinsky story kept the shark attacks in the shadows. This, Lichter said, poses a real danger to the public. Lichter said, "Bad journalism is worse than no journalism, because it leaves people thinking they know something that is, in fact, wrong.Back in there were 46 shark attacks, but the spotlight was on O.J.

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Simpson's murder trial. In , the Monica Lewinsky story kept the shark attacks in the shadows. The media love to get in on the shark action, too.

Like in , when a young boy was attacked by a bull shark at Langdon Beach in Florida, then another attack occurred in the Bahamas. Like in , when a young boy was attacked by a bull shark at Langdon Beach in . Jul 08,  · Skip to comments.

Beachgoer alert: Danger of media hype about shark attacks now high Hreald Tribune ^ | July Posted on 07/08/ AM PDT by nickcarraway. Humans have a wide array of options when deciding which fears to cultivate.

Oct 24,  · Almost as soon as the bombs arrived in the mail, the debate began: What role does violent political rhetoric have on these real-life acts of violence? There are roughly eight fatal shark attacks a year around the world. Commercial fishing efforts, on the other hand, kill tens of millions of sharks annually yet the media gives more attention to shark bites.

According to National Geographic, the U.S. averages 16 shark attacks each year and slightly less than one shark-attack fatality every two years.

The media hype on shark attacks

To put that into context, National Geographic cites.

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