Yesterday I read through the comments of a Redbook post on Facebook.
As I always do.
Why? Because, even though Redbook is one of my favorite mags, I don’t WANT to HAVE to click over to see what they are talking about. I’m sure many other people are like that too on Facebook. This is important, remember for later.
Yesterday I did click over after reading comments complaining about the lack of journalism in a Redbook blog post written by Redbook’s Deputy Editor.
The article talks about the US being 50th in the world in maternal mortality rates.
In 2009 I was pregnant and hanging out on TheBump.com message boards along with many fellow bloggers and local ladies when someone in SoCal died suddenly after delivering her baby. She was a tragic and unpreventable death, but I have always remembered it and I went to the hospital to deliver with her a little in my mind.
The 278 words in Redbook says that, well, no one really knows why it’s going up. Then they reference the Amnesty International report that points out that more women of color and more lower-income area women die from childbirth-related issues than white women and women in higher-income areas.
“It’s a fuzzy problem without obvious solutions, but it’s also one that, as Amnesty discovered, is predominantly affecting poor women of color (they’re dying at a rate of 79 per 100,000 deaths. White women? 10 per 100,000, far more on par with Europe). This is where the problem in our country lies.”
This entire post is a reaction piece to a Mashable article that actually DOES tell some more stats and then references Reuters who actually interviewed someone at WHO. The WHO interviewee admits they aren’t truly sure, but refers to higher obesity rates, diabetes, and more advanced maternal age can all be factors. So, not that no one really knows, but that they aren’t 100 percent sure so don’t quote them, m’kay?
The WHO also reports that maternal morbidity rates have dropped globally by 45 percent. Well, that’s embarrassing to hear in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Why are ours still so high?
Over half of Americans get get their news using their cell phones, according to the American Press Institute, and you bet they aren’t heading straight to the New York Times. So for any media business, using social media sites like Facebook to share news is a way of getting the clicks over.
So to me, seeing that post may lead to discussion about what factors could be, as I believe was desired by the writer, but instead of referencing world news third hand, why not dive a little deeper?
In the United States…
Birth rate of women rages 35-39 has increased from about 6 births to 11 from 1990-2012 (CDC)
The total U.S. cesarean delivery rate reached a high of 32.9% of all births in 2009, rising 60% from the most recent low of 20.7 in 1996. CDC
A third of women of maternal age are considered obese (but this fact I take lightly SINCE when I was first told I was pregnant the doctor classified me as obese. We’ll discuss that later). Cesarean rates go UP as obesity rates go up. ACOG
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health, black women are 80 percent more likely to be obese than non-Hispanic white women.
And, finally, this article published in The American Journal of Public Health in 2007 points out that black women have a higher mortality rate with conditions such as preeclampsia, placenta previa and postpartum hemorrhage. Even though they don’t get it at a higher rate than white women.
This is all without even going into the specifics of health insurance and quality of care as it applies to socioeconomic trends and ethnicity.
So, what the editor was hinting at but didn’t try to back up?
Was that, yes, the problem with the maternal mortality rate in American is that it is higher among colored women. Black women, Native American women, women with lower incomes that may have not had insurance, may not have had good care, and didn’t have the resources to take care of themselves and educate themselves after the fact.
It’s even higher among women of color above 40 years old.
But wait there’s more.
Later that day, another post was shared on Redbook’s Facebook leaving some ladies even more perturbed. Note: The original story was written for Elle magazine’s site first.
“Driving While Pregnant Is Actually Pretty Dangerous, Says New Study”
The article discusses that women in their second trimester saw a 42 percent increase of car accidents, which the Canadian researcher says every one of the crashes could have been avoided by being more careful.
Blaming it on pregnancy brain.
Going back to the original NPR study, there is still a demographic more at risk for accidents- young men. Just thought I’d hand that one out as a freebie.
So twice in a day there was two headlines that made pregnancy sound dangerous. Which, among Redbook’s (I assume) readership of median American women may not be the deal but expand that to the new journalism tactics of throwing out a attention- grabbing headline to generate links clicked in. To get comments on the Facebook, the retweets.
The new goals.
And with those goals? Changes the game for journalism. Who can get the clicks first, who can get the most clicks- even if headlines are misleading. Even if there is no useful information.
And it has been found that there is no correlation between shares and people actually reading content.
So the people who would interact with that headline, would share it? 55 percent of people stayed less than 15 seconds on a page. Which means that headline, the ones saying driving is dangerous, that women in the US are at higher risks than many other industrialized countries, people didn’t even read far enough to know WHY they are at a higher risk. And driving is pregnant? Just wait until your MIL starts bugging you about your apparently already bad skills risking her unborn grandchild’s health.
Is it worth getting clicks over if it means you are losing face on social media? I’m not sure. But as long as you’re getting the clicks, you’re showing yourself successful, right?
Note: I picked these two because they were related and both held a concern for me. BUT this could have been written about many other articles.
How do you get your news? What hakes you share or click over?