Contradicting your own headlines (and other stories)

14 May

I’ve written recently about newspaper science stories that seem to bear little resemblance to their original sources, but I’ve just come across an example where the headline and the text of the story seem to actively disagree with each other !

This Daily Mail story from 26th March 2012 is headlined ‘Forget your five-a-day: Popcorn has ‘more antioxidants than fruit and vegetables’, and yet if you read through the story you find the researcher warning ‘that people can’t forego their five-a-day’.

So, in this case students don’t even need to be told to read the source material, as the problems are there in the story itself. Beyond that, it’s worth asking students if they can see a bigger problem with the idea of popcorn as ‘the perfect snack food’ and thus the latest ‘superfood’. You might wonder how many students order ‘virgin’ popcorn at the local Vue ? You would suspect that various ‘sweet’ favours might be the norm, followed by ‘salted’. Ironically this article headlined ‘A 1800 calorie bag of popcorn: Cinemas urged to warn film lovers about fat-filled snacks’ strangely also appeared in the Daily Mail ?

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