MTL Blog called out for misleading headlines by STM

Just recently, MTL Blog posted an article about the STM with the headline of “STM Prepares To Sell Metro Maps To Montrealers“. You can see it on the screen grab from their Facebook page which acts as a time capsule and shows the original un-edited text.

original mtl blog stm headline

Shortly after, the STM sent out a tweet to MTL Blog saying that the title is misleading and that they are exploring the idea and not preparing to sell.
mtl blog stm tweet

MTL Blog actually changed it, which is something they rarely do.  Normally mistakes get ignored/forgotten and they keep moving ahead, but this one was public enough so makes sense that they clean up the mess. It also highlights how deceptive and misleading headlines coupled with little or no research of a story they are writing leads to a situation where people who follow them on Facebook or Twitter will think this is real and will contact the STM and clog up their resources with unfounded requests.

There was a similar case a recently when MTL Blog did a post saying that metro maps were being given away and when people contacted the STM, they were not for the public.

Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 12.10.55 AM (2)

This also prompted the very rare MTL Blog edit/correction on their post, something you will rarely see no matter how many errors they make.

Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 12.16.16 AM (2)

We should note that if your “source” is a lone Reditt post you may want to dig a little bit deeper and actually call the STM before you make a statement to thousands of readers. The actual article by Andy Riga in the Gazette is clear when it uses words like “might”.  The article goes in depth with what might happen with the signs and does not blindly imply like the MTL Blog article which stripped away lots of the detail of the Gazette article and jammed together a few points.

This is also part of a greater issue where MTL Blog is treading the line between journalism media and an entertainment blog.  Real newspapers have editors and they check facts, MTL Blog does not. They are trying to take some info from legitimate articles, water them down but add no value to them. Covering a story is one thing if you have a reference or source but you should be adding value and opinion to it. MTL Blog just makes the story shorter and adds a nonsensical line of:  “If these prices seem fair and you really want some STM swag, let ‘em know. Hopefully we’ll all have hip and trendy STM signs in our respective apartments soon.”

I don’t know which is more frustrating, if MTL Blog becomes a news aggregator, a plagiarist or the fact that they jump on both sides of the lines and cause frustration with their misleading headlines.

 

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