Hearing or reading words that create great excitement or distress are not often what they seem to mean. Just like when you see a sign in a store window saying “BIG SALE” and walk in only to find all of the out-of-season clothes that no one wanted barely marked down. The news seems to do that too sometimes.

I find it interesting how television news uses big exciting phrases to draw an audience in to hear that it’s not what you expected. This exact tactic was used on NBC’s Nightly News with Brian Williams on April 10, 2012 when they brought up the question of whether or not x-rays at the dentist cause brain tumors in the future. They began with phrases like, “studies today bring more reason for concern” and describing dental x-rays as “almost impossible to escape”. They make the story out to be like they are almost positive kids getting x-rays have a chance of getting brain tumors. These kind of ideas put in parents heads could potentially cause a panic making them not want to allow their children to go to  the dentist. The news needs to be reminding people that x-rays can help prevent problems with kids teeth and in actuality are a good thing when used properly.

Interestingly enough, later in the broadcast the reporter says, “the study at best SUGGESTS a connection” concerning x-rays and brain tumors. Why did they not use the word “SUGGESTS” earlier? In the next clip, Dr. Otis Brawley, medical director of the American Cancer Society, states, “We cannot say from this article that x-rays from dentistry actually cause brain tumors”. So, even a leading specialist in cancer is not completely sure there is any connection? It does not seem very reliable to me. Sensationalizing the news in order to keep their audience hooked is not a very respectful thing to do. The purpose of the news should be to relay the facts involved and not try to entertain an audience.

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