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Published on October 22nd, 2018 | by Chanan Bos

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Tesla Coverage Swings Positive In The Mass Media — #Pravduh Report 7

October 22nd, 2018 by  


Intro

In the name of Tesla and all of its supporters, I proclaim that this week is a win. This is the first week since September 1st (when we started #Pravduh) that there is more positive news about Tesla than negative news. As a matter of fact, if I hadn’t had my cup of coffee, I might have thought that I accidentally mislabeled and switched the positive and negative categories. Only 14% negative news!

Here at CleanTechnica, we are wondering, is part of the improvement due to #Pravduh’s work helping to expose the bad journalistic practices? Or perhaps all the skeptics were busy last week attending to the quarterly short shorts conference and scheming up new FUD plots for the upcoming quarter? Who knows? In any case, it’s a welcome respite and hopefully it will stay this way.

Also, we wanted to emphasize that each week we are sharing the raw data (headlines and scores). You can scan through yourself if you want to double check our findings or just see the headlines. And you can check out our own Tesla stories for more context and comparison.


#Pravduh About #Tesla
Report #7 (October 13–19)

This chart is deceptive since the total amount of articles published this week is a lot less than in previous weeks.

 

This week, for the first time since we started tracking headlines, the number of negative articles is less than the number of neutral articles.

The 4 sites publishing the most about Tesla last week were: Bloomberg, CNBC, Business Insider, and Reuters. It is interesting to note that each of the 3 sources that typically write the highest number of articles wrote 14 articles last week. We had to triple check our data to make sure this wasn’t some kind of mistake.

The next matter on our itinerary is tracking the authors who published this news. While the whole list is too long to put here since there are many authors who have written just one piece about Tesla, here are the 30 who published more than 6 articles about Tesla last week:

(For this entire section, note: At major media outlets, there are often headline writers who control this part of articles, but we find tracking the authors is also interesting and potentially useful for considering what kind of stories the authors tend to write.)

Again, here is the data from this past week in case you want to have a closer look at the raw data.

What Changed With Tesla Last Week?

Aside from the summary in the intro, here’s a list of Tesla news and potential news ordered by day.

You can consider for yourself what were objectively the most important updates in the “Tesla story” last week.


Our Methodology

As you have seen, we track Tesla headlines and rate them based on their implications for Tesla. We cover 22 major media sites. We rate all of their Tesla headlines as either positive, negative, or neutral. Unlike a more nuanced scale, this system is based on solidly objective evaluation and contains minimal bias. A handful of us have been checking the headlines and we do not find much variation in how a headline is rated, because it is a straightforward and clear system. If there is variation in how a headline is rated, we discuss and come to an agreed conclusion.

We define journalism as: the pursuit of facts and reporting on them. When you systematically report with a slant that doesn’t line up with reality, or omit facts that are inconvenient to your point of view, that distorts the general truth. In order to be as transparent as possible, all the data our analysis is based on are published at the end of each report. We report the facts and let you draw your own conclusions about the story behind these stories.

We encourage you to check our data and have fun experimenting in the evaluator role — that is can be even more illuminating than simply looking at the results. We also encourage you to let us know if you notice something that was rated incorrectly or have suggestions on how to further improve our system.


#Pravduh History & Extra Context

The CleanTechnica team started creating weekly and monthly #Pravduh About #Tesla reports in September 2018 after getting really tired of oddly negative Tesla coverage in mainstream media outlets, and after a little stimulation from some trolling by Elon Musk.

For those who somehow missed it, about 5 months ago, Elon Musk got fed up with so much of the media publishing FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) articles about Tesla, and in some cases outright misinformation, that he presented an idea.

Most people who follow Tesla closely agree that it has been the target of far too much misleading, unfair, negative media coverage. We here at CleanTechnica define journalism as: the pursuit of facts and reporting on them in a useful, proper context. When you systematically report with a slant that doesn’t line up with reality, or omit facts that are inconvenient to your point of view, that distorts the general truth of the story.

We at CleanTechnica felt something did need to be done. As the stories — whether in the New York Times, New York Post, Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC, or Bloomberg — got worse, we were finally pushed to more systematic, regular action. Writers on our site had long been informing readers about Tesla FUD and misinformation, and readers had been informing writers. We wrote articles digging into the facts and the finances. But sporadic, one-off attempts at correcting the record didn’t seem to be enough. Putting our own playful spin on the “Pravda” name Elon mentioned on Twitter, we decided to create #Pravduh About #Tesla.

Of all the parts of a story, the headlines have the biggest influence — by far — so we decided to focus our efforts on headline analysis. We have found the results to be interesting so far, and so has Elon Musk himself.

We would also like to thank Maye Musk for her support of this project and for using the data to try to improve Tesla coverage. Here’s a short sampling of how she has used the reports to push for better coverage:

The more these #Pravduh About #Tesla reports get shared online through social media, the more people will take notice. If there is an ongoing heavily negative slant about Tesla in certain outlets — even as Tesla has so much positive news to share — people should be aware of this and approach each new story with that in mind. 
 
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About the Author

Chanan grew up in a multicultural, multi-lingual environment that often gives him a unique perspective on a variety of topics. He is always in thought about big picture topics like AI, quantum physics, philosophy, Universal Basic Income, climate change, sci-fi concepts like the singularity, misinformation, and the list goes on. Currently, he is studying creative media & technology but already has diplomas in environmental sciences as well as business & management. His goal is to discourage linear thinking, bias, and confirmation bias whilst encouraging out-of-the-box thinking and helping people understand exponential progress. Chanan is very worried about his future and the future of humanity. That is why he has a tremendous admiration for Elon Musk and his companies, foremost because of their missions, philosophy, and intent to help humanity and its future. He sees Tesla as one of the few companies that can help us save ourselves from climate change.



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