The AP story headlines make it clear, right?…

Plane missing for half century found in Andes via USAToday
Chilean soccer team’s plane finally found 54 years after doomed flight crashed in Andes via FoxNews
Chilean hikers claim to find plane missing 54 years via CBSNews

These would make great headlines, had the plane not been previously discovered a week after it disappeared. Or was it?

FACTS: On April 3, 1961, an LAN Chile domestic flight from Castro, Chile to Santiago disappeared in the Andes mountains. The Douglas DC-3 airliner was carrying 20 passengers and 4 crew, including part of Chile’s Green Cross professional soccer team.

clickbait headlines

A Douglas DC-3 airplane, similar to the LAN Chile domestic aircraft which disappeared in the Andes mountains.

Now, almost 54 years later, it is reported that the burnt-out wreckage was discovered by a group of Chilean mountaineers as what is described in the media as ending “one of the world’s longest unsolved aviation mysteries.”

However, according to the Aviation Safety Network, the crash site was first found on April 10, 1961 “on La Gotera Hill in the Lastima-Pejerreymin Range; all on board had been killed.” The Aviation Safety Network is a private, independent initiative founded in 1996 which covers accidents and safety issues with regards to airliners, military transport planes and corporate jets. It maintains a database of over 10,700 incidents, hijackings and accidents from sources such as ICAO Aircraft Accident Digests, NTSB, and TSB.

It took me all of 2.48 seconds to solve one of the world’s longest unsolved aviation mysteries to find that information. And I’m just a lowly “travel blogger” with a handful of readers, most of whom are more interested in seeking out a travel deal rather than some story of a football squad going down in a crash half a century ago, and I don’t blame them.

My Gripe
This seems to be just another of endless examples of the degraded creditability in modern news (would the use of “journalism” be too heavy of a word?).

Do you give equal pause to giving news reports that fire from the hip, with flashy, dramatic, clickbait headlines, too much consideration and authoritative credence until the full details of a story can be examined in a manner appropriate for accurate reporting? Has what is “accurate reporting” been redefined?

This point raises a much bigger argument in news reporting and the business of media, with emphasis on digital media: Are clickbait headlines to blame for the dumbing-down of quality reporting? Should the audience be to blame as well, at least in part, in an age of I want it NOW-NOW-NOW news? Is it the tail wagging the dog?

Sure, you may say I’m just the pot calling the kettle black. Just some food for thought. 

From Kittens to Kardashians, Clickbait Lives On.


clickbait headlines

Here, have some clickbait.


Subscribe in the sidebar!

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.