Media Manipulation

Its interesting how your thinking gets manipulated. Consider this photo of 2 versions of the Wall Street Journal from today… (EDIT: Not all together what you see either – someone else decided to manipulate the public!


Image courtesy of @bradleyguidry via Instagram
Location: Austin Executive Airport (KEDC)

On the left of the photo the headline reads “Trump Softens His Tone”. On the right, the headline is harder – “Trump Talks Tough on Wall”.  Which version the consumer sees depends on where they see the paper. The left one was at the Austin TX airport, and the Instagram post seemed to think it was meant to pull in the Austin based liberals (I concur here, Mr. Guidry). The right side picture is a paper from a more conservative market, intended to show that the candidate in question is still taking a hard stance on immigration.

The headlines are also linguistically slanted. The left headline reads gentler. There are ‘s’ sounds that glide over the brain, giving the reader an easier feeling. The right headline goes directly for the ‘t’ sounds, marching forcefully into one’s ears, giving the reader the impression of boots grinding down the immigrants. Writing headlines to suit the story is one thing, writing to pull in a reader with language is another. Knowing how to use language to force or to soften is a skill that all news writers should learn.

Yes, its manipulation, and at the highest levels if you ask me. The Wall Street Journal is a master at using such techniques. I will bet they’ve done similar things in the past. I will also bet that other national news outlets do the same thing, slanting a front page headline to bring in both more readers and more supporters/detractors for various issues.

Know that your minds are indeed being manipulated folks. Wherever there is media, there is manipulation. (and look – I used language to make you mindful!)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s