Sometimes when I write about a paranormal event, my focus changes to the seemingly normal people associated with the event. Sometimes the things that people do after an event ends up being much more interesting than the event itself.
Of course, I am speaking about the aftermath of the UFO in China and the information currently being written about it on the web.
On July 7, 2010, an airport in China was shut down with flights diverted to neighboring airports because something was spotted in the sky. One week later, on July 14th, a second object was sighted in Chongqing.
That’s it. That’s all we really know.
However, if you read most of the posts all over the web, there’s something more: speculation, theories, sensationalism and misinformation. This week, someone debunked some visual evidence that some media outlets were posting. That’s something new.
So, because of this, some people are blurring the lines between two entirely different facts. Debunking some photo or video evidence is one thing. The shutdown of an airport is another.
There has been no official statement from China yet about why it was shut down. With recent natural disasters, it’s not a big deal to me that they’ve said nothing. If they say nothing about it ever again, then life will go on. Mine will, at least. Like I said, until a statement is released by China authorities, the people writing about these events in these United States is much more interesting to me at the moment.
Some news outlets and their readers are talking this week about a July 7th event that they now say happened last week on July 14th. This stems from mainstream media outlets waiting a full week before reporting the event. ABC News began covering the story on July 14th . Now, some news outlets and their readers are calling July 14th the official date of the event.
Pravda reported the Xiaoshan Airport event happening a week ago: July 14th. Despite leaving a comment with the correct date, at this writing, Pravda has not changed the date to the correct July 7th date. A friend of mine said about Russia’s two papers: “Any Russian will tell you, ‘there is no truth in Pravda (Russian word for ‘truth’) and there is no news in Izvestia (Russian word for ‘news’).’”
The problem is, however, there are some people who believe what they read or what they hear from one source and they treat it as fact before researching the story to get the facts.
CNN is guilty of the same misreporting. Their article was initially misleading. The author or authors implied that the UFO was debunked. In fact, it was not. Most of the photos and a video studied by an expert were debunked.
If you were forwarded this link, would you immediately think that the UFO was debunked? Would you click on this article with a preconceived notion about what the article is about?
CNN’s headline for this story changed in some news aggregators, from:
“UFOs over China? Not quite, analyst says” to “Analyst: China UFO images likely fake“
I would say that there is quite a difference in headlines there. The headline may have been altered afterwards through some news aggregators, but the first misleading headline still appears in the article.
An airport was shut down. This is at the center of this story and should be the most important focus.
Why was the airport shut down? Debunking a few photos is entirely different than an airport shutdown. These are two different things. Think about it.
Furthermore, CNN’s article states that the Chongqing sighting happened a day after the sighting that shut down the Xiaoshan Airport. CNN, check the facts. The second sighting was a full week later. It was the frenzy of readers seeking information surrounding the second sighting that got you interested.
Since last week, something unbelievable has happened. Headlines have begun to detract from truth to attract readers. I have a couple tips for all writers out there, no matter what your topic may be, paranormal or normal.
First, your headlines should reflect what your article is about. If your headline states that people are panicking or scared about an event, at least interview one of these alleged persons you refer to in your article to give it some validity. You may get page views from your headline, but your readers will be left disappointed. You may even be viewed as a tabloid reporter and your readers won’t trust your information in the future.
Short and simple, but equally important: get the dates right. Readers count on you for accurate information. Dates do count.