Why eating ice cream is linked to shark attacks

Why are soda and ice cream each linked to violence? This article delivers the final word on what people mean by "correlation does not imply causation."

  • Ice cream consumption is actually linked to shark attacks.
  • But the relationship is correlative, not causal.
  • It's pretty stunning how media outlets skip over this important detail.
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In 1999, David Bowie knew the internet would change the world

Musican. Actor. Fashion Icon. Internet Visionary?

  • David Bowie was well known as a rock star, but somehow his other interests and accomplishments remain obscure.
  • In this 1999 interview, he explains why he knows the internet is more than just a tool and why it was destined to change the world.
  • He launched his own internet service provider in 1998, BowieNet. It ceased operations in 2006.
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I reported the news in print and online. Here’s the difference.

Former NYTimes executive editor Jill Abramson dissects the big problem with internet news.

  • Jill Abramson, former executive editor of The New York Times, describes what life was like for a journalist in the 1980s – a "stone age" when news was governed by the printing press schedule.
  • Today, many journalists will break stories on Twitter before writing it, eliminating nuance and increasing the chance of error.
  • Social media in particular has added a fatal speed to journalism. Errors erode public trust in the media, and allow those in power to undermine the free press.
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“It’s all going down.” Why journalism is up in flames.

News doesn't sell. That's lethal to journalism – and democracy.

  • Apart from media giants like The New York Times and The Washington Post, nearly every news outlet is laying off journalists or collapsing completely.
  • The reason? No advertiser wants to put their ad next to serious, hard-edged news. Sensational content is favored by algorithms, and that isn't just annoying. It has terrifying consequences.
  • Journalists are the watchdogs of democracy. The more local news outlets and independent media disappear, the more those in power can do as they wish. Unreported scandals will fester and damage citizens. Corruption will go unchecked.
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Can you trust anonymous sources in journalism?

To cite an anonymous source, a media outlet must first enjoy a high level of credibility.

  • It's difficult for media outlets to stop using anonymous sources because identified past sources have been prosecuted for leaking information to reporters. Anonymity allows the sources to share information with the public with less threats of jail time and huge legal bills.
  • We have to suspend disbelief, and believe the reporters when anonymous sources are quoted, and decide whether a news outlet — such as BuzzFeed, amid its recent reporting regarding Michael Cohen — has our confidence and enjoys a high level of credibility.
  • Information naturally has more credibility, Abramson says, when it is attached to a named sourced. However, to get some crucial information to the public, there are times when anonymous sourcing is necessary.