The article chosen was from very current events, the WHO report about the carcinogenic risk of different meats (Smith). In their report the World Health Organization unequivocally stated that consistently eating processed, cured, smoked, and preserved meats raises the cancer risk of bowel and colon cancers (Smith). They also said there is strong evidence that red meat increases cancer risks (Smith). The article is careful to state that only about 34.000 cancer deaths are attributed to cancer caused from processed meat (Smith). Finally, these results have obviously upset the meat industry and there was an included statement from a representative of the industry (Smith).
There is a lot of opportunity in this story because if reported well it could help various companies particularly those connected with vegetarianism, health, and fitness. Also there is opportunity for government groups to use this story to help make new regulations. The challenge of this story is the risk associated with this story is also fairly high because the meat industry is extremely large and powerful. If reported poorly there could be harsh backlash and even lawsuits mimicking the problems Oprah Winfrey faced in the mid-1990s (“Oprah Winfrey”). Reporting only the facts and not inflating them for a ‘wow-factor’ is necessary for this type of story to maintain the safety of all parties.
Overall this story was well reported and it included facts that were not inflated or made to sound more dramatic. The title was the only buzz-worthy part of the article and therefore this keeps parties safe from giving misleading facts. Something that should be added to this article is a description of what processed meat means. It was briefly discussed but not as clearly as another news agency defined it (“Processed Meats”). Also, including statements from both WHO and the meat industry would have been fairer than just an included statement from the meat industry. Giving both WHO and the meat industry the ability to defend themselves would give the article a more impartial stance which is needed for such a bold topic.
- “Oprah Winfrey vs. The Beef People.” PBS. PBS, 20 Jan. 1998. Web. 27 Oct. 2015.
- “Processed Meats Do Cause Cancer – WHO – BBC News.” BBC News. BBC News, 26 Oct. 2015. Web. 27 Oct. 2015.
- Smith, Aaron. Processed Meat Causes Cancer, Says WHO. Cable News Network, 26 Oct. 2015. Web. 27 Oct. 2015.