Why newspapers never explain computer security
by Giles Turnbull
Does anyone actually know someone whose Mac has been infected by Leap.A? There haven't been very many sightings of it in the wild.
The media coverage for this event has been out of all proportion to the hazard posed by the malware itself; reports in the daily newspapers, on the TV news. But look closely, and there are two different stories being reported.
|Hence the importance of revealing the truth early on. I've seen forum threads on Macintosh centric fora which would have made very nice articles of the _second_ kind, i.e. the "now we're doomed, too" variant. (Although, here, from the angle of the doomed Mac user, not the gloating PC-using journalist.)|
|Funny how you can pull a Windows machine, set to out of the box defaults, hook it up and jack it into the web and in less than 10 mins it gets infected. That's without downloading anything. I've been running Mac OS X default out of the box since version 10.0 (1999-2000) and I'm still OK.|
What you are describing happens every day in the media and not just about computer security. A large part of what is called the news media is not about factual reporting, but about reactions to prevailing notions of what is fact. And these notions are often based in previous mis-reporting of the facts and so-on and so-on. Mac users are all too familiar with this. But to "editors" stories with spin and talking points seem to sell better. I don't know if it is because many people can't tell the difference or because they just don't care. Most people don't have the time or desire to try and understand every issue. So they "go with the flow".
Truth often doesn't sell well, unless it's salacious or inflammatory .. or both.
|Thanks Giles, that's a very important distinction. Good point!|