TIME and Tuna Terrors

What They Tell You About:


In February 2010, Time.com published a list of what it called the Top 10 Most Dangerous Foods by Alyssa Fetini. Included in the list, alongside Fugu, the deadly poisonous Japanese delicacy that can kill if not prepared properly, was tuna fish. The article went so far as to originally title the excerpt about tuna fish Tuna Terrors and subtitle the story with the caption "eat at your own risk."


What They're Not Telling You

The Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics states clearly that reporters and editors should make certain that headlines, news teases and promotional material, photos, video, audio, graphics, sound bites and quotations do not misrepresent. There was nothing in Time.coms own reporting to suggest there was an imminent risk of anything close to terror associated with tuna fish. Only after bringing this journalistic transgression to its attention did Time.com retitle the piece with the slightly less alarming but still inaccurate headline, "Tuna Tremors."

The Tough Questions:
Why did Time.com take a tabloid journalism approach to this article and put tuna fish on the list in the first place?