Monday, June 19, 2006

Bias by Visual? 

A major American newspaper blundered over the weekend, it seems to me, when it reported backdating of options at a company and showed a headshot of the CEO. The blunder was that the backdating had occurred before the CEO was in office. The visual made it appear just the opposite until one read the story carefully. What leads me to believe that bias might have been in the choice to run the photo is that this CEO is not as popular as the CEO who came before him.

I don't know how one corrects such a choice with a newspaper because the damage is done. Readers who scan headlines say to themselves that not only don't I like this guy, but he is shady too. Nothing could be further from the truth. One hopes the editors involved will acknowledge the blunder and try to make it right in the future.

Meanwhile, what does the PR department do at the company and how do you explain it to the CEO?


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