Mainstream Media Gets Desperate For “Creative” Headlines — #Pravduh About #Tesla Report 10

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Before we start, we would like to give a shout-out to Zac & Jesse from the YouTube channel “Now You Know” for mentioning our reports on their show. You guys are awesome!

Some might say this has been a slow news week for Tesla. There were only 122 articles this week and the average over the past 9 weeks is around 190. This slow news week, however, is quite artificial. It’s a choice, because there was plenty of news that the mainstream media just decided to not report at all or only briefly cover.

This has been a trend for quite a while, and this week was a very good example, so we are going to do something we haven’t done before — we will briefly analyze a few things with charts before the report itself.

Tesla has a new chair. That is pretty big news, but 8 news sources didn’t mention it at all. Another 8 mentioned it 1 to 2 times, which is a good number — one article to report the breaking news and one to analyse the news. Then we have 8 news sources that wrote between 3 and 7 articles about the exact same thing. Bloomberg, Business Insider, CNN, Fox News, and CNBC, what are you guys trying to accomplish here? Raise your hands if you think this is just backwards.

The “Whats New with Tesla?” section is still there near the end of the report, but let me skip ahead for a moment and mention 3 cool pieces of Tesla news to help prove a point about something. News from last week: Tesla might be on the S&P 500 next year, Tesla released track mode for the P3D, and Tesla launched a key fob for the Model 3. Now, let’s see who reported on this:

Track Mode: Engadget, CNBC, The Verge, Business Insider

S&P 500: Fox News, Bloomberg, CNBC

Key Fob: Engadget, The Verge

Who else could have reported on this but didn’t? The whole list of media outlets we track can be seen in the chart above. You know what every single news source did not forget to report on and some sources even up to 20 times? The fact that Elon puffed a bit of weed in a state where it’s legal. With selective reporting like this, no wonder people might get the wrong impression of Tesla.

From now on, we will also have a sneaky headlines section right after the “What’s new with Tesla?” section. However, there’s one headline in particular that we decided needed to be talked about here — “Tesla’s New Chair Is Part of the Furniture,” written by Bloomberg’s Liam Denning.

Sir, that is just utterly disrespectful to call any human being just a piece of furniture or any other kind of demeaning name. Tesla’s new chair is an accomplished person with a distinguished career who just became the chair of a big multinational company and you are a journalist reporting on the facts — criticize if you must, but don’t be disrespectful.

Side note: 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 #10 (November 3–9)

The reason why it seems like there is a lot of neutral news this week is because most of the news regarding the new chair was labeled as neutral since a lot of people want Elon Musk to stay as chair but on the other hand the newly appointed chair appears to be a good choice.

The 4 sites publishing the most about Tesla last week were: CNBC, Bloomberg, Business Insider, and The Street.

Vox and MSNBC did not have any headlines about Tesla this week and are not included.

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 8 articles about Tesla since we started tracking on September 1st, ranked from least positive to most positive:

The neutrality index goes from –100% to 100%. In this system, 0% is neutral. The number of negative/positive articles and percentages are also still displayed. This system provides a good breakdown of how authors are positioned.

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 summary of Tesla news and potential news ordered by day.

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

Some Sneaky Headlines Last Week

  • Tesla’s New Chair Is Part of the Furniture (Bloomberg)
  • Tesla’s Elon Musk Is Promising A Self-Parking Feature For 2019. The Only Problem? It May Be Illegal (Forbes)
  • Tesla’s Autopilot Now Changes Lanes—And You’re Gonna Help It Out (Wired)
  • Your Tesla Can Go Zero to 60 in 2.5 Seconds But Can’t Get AM Radio (WSJ)
  • Elon Musk’s New Boring Tunnel is Somehow More Boring Than a Regular Tunnel (Gizmodo)
  • Tesla’s pick for a new chairwoman is boring, but that’s exactly what the company needs (CNBC)
  • There’s sexism if you don’t think Robyn Denholm will be a good chairperson, Jim Cramer says (CNBC)

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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 & Mentions

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 very interesting so far, and we’re super curious to see how they evolve over time. Apparently, Elon is interested in this as well.

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.

We would also like to thank Zac & Jesse from the YouTube channel “Now You Know” for spreading the word about our reports and the Tesla FUD.


The more these #Pravda About #Tesla reports get shared online through YouTube and 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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Chanan Bos

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.

Chanan Bos has 118 posts and counting. See all posts by Chanan Bos