As seen in a German thread: does the news reflect what we die from? Comparing actual numbers in the US, Google searches, and reports in two big newspapers, one from the USA and one from the UK. Take a look at the info graphic.

ยท Amaroq ยท 6 ยท 32 ยท 17

I just read the conclusions and the statistical caveats at the end of the Death: Reality vs Reported writeup by Owen Shen. Very interesting: some items had synonyms (homicide and murder, for example), and counts were simply the number of articles containing the item in their title or body which is problematic for words with multiple meanings (like stroke), and more. Very readable!

@kensanata It's incredibly sad that the media is so focused on being sensationalists that ~34% of what they cover accounts for less than 0.01% of the actual deaths.

@amolith Yes! And public perception controls public spending, too. Terrible.

@amolith also regarding cardio-vascular vs cancer: people want to know more about the things they cannot change, apparently. Grrrr!

@kensanata @amolith I was just going to say. I worry about cardiovascular because it's actually on me to make sure I'm in good health. Cancer happens. The people who should worry about cancer are researchers and people who engage in high-risk behavior.

@clacke @kensanata @amolith I get what you're saying, but i think there's some additional nuance. Colon cancer is highly correlated with meat content in your diet, and apparently blueberries are negatively correlated with both colon cancer and heart disease.

That doesn't mean you should worry about it, but we have more impact on cancers through our diets than I would have expected before researching!

@templewulf as I didnโ€™t know that I take this as further evidence that the people like to read stuff that they cannot change: so if the diet influences your cancer rates then the news is less likely to report it because it might make you feel glum and down (and less likely to buy stuff?) where as anger and fear and righteousness are all active emotions that lead to activity such as buying things.
@clacke @amolith

@kensanata @clacke @amolith that I largely agree with.

Pharmaceutical sponsors can't profit from a diet rich in antioxidants

It would be really fascinating to see a "alternate reality" media broadcast, where screentime spent *was* proportional to the actual statistics. Imagine the depth of policy discourse for heart disease alone.

@ThatTupperKid @amolith somebody told me that the Swiss National TV and Radio Org once had a week of just positive news. I should try and find a commentary on that week!

@kensanata Astonishing how almost identical the profiles for NYT and the Guardian are!

@solderpunk Yeah! Now I want to see the numbers of German newspapers. Iโ€™ve also wondered about article length. Itโ€™s easy to write a paragraph about a terrorist event in some other country. Itโ€™s harder to write about cancer research. Basically the easiest way to mention cancer is if celebrities die of cancer. So that might skews numbers in favor or terrorism. Then again, perhaps thatโ€™s simply one of the points to be made.

@kensanata And those are the left leaning newspapers. The right leaning ones will be even more skewed.

@InternetKevin itโ€™d be interesting to see whether that hypothesis can be corroborated! As I know of no such studies, I wonโ€™t elaborate on my prejudice, haha. ๐Ÿ˜…

@kensanata This is insightful. I'd hope to see more absolute deaths per population analysis in addition, but spurring followup questions is the mark of good communication, so it doesn't detract from what they've produced.

@kensanata Is no one going to mention that we're nailing it as far as strokes are concerned??

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