Wednesday, March 13, 2013

How Chess is [Sometimes] Reported in the Media

Boris Gelfand, from the same news story mention below. 

Boris Gelfand will plays  in the Candidates' Tournament in London. As expected this is reported in the Israeli media. Unfortunately sometimes the reporting standard is not up to snuff. The following report [in Hebrew] has the headline: "Gelfand is waiting for the Norwegian Fashion Model". The meaning, of course, is that Gelfand will also play Magnus Carlsen, who had dabbled in modeling.

While the report's headline is intended to be tongue-in-cheek [the sub-header notes Carlsen is "a Scandinavian which also models"], it is annoying. First of all, it might mislead those who only have a casual interest in chess, i.e., most of the readers, who might be left wondering what chess and fashion have to do with each other.

But the real annoyance, as I see it, is not that the headline is seriously misleading [it is not], but that the idea is that the game itself is boring, or hard, so that the reporter must concentrate on the "interesting" details, like Carlsen's modeling career, to make the reader care at all. After all, what is more glorious -- chess or modeling?

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