22/05/2018
Dieuwe de Boer
Opinion
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Study: Journalists Drink Too Much And Have Low Executive Brain Function

We at Right Minds routinely mock the quality of journalism, but it isn't often that we get a study exposing the reasons behind the poor quality.

Journalists’ brains apparently show a lower level of executive functioning, which means a below average ability to regulate their emotions, suppress biases, solve complex problems, switch between tasks, and show creative and flexible thinking.

- Business Insider 

It's good to see some research backing up the increase in biased journalism, but that's of course not just due to their lower brain functions. The study also shows that journalists are better than average at tasks useful for spinning the news to fit the chosen narrative.

Each subject completed a blood test, wore a heart-rate monitor for three days, kept a food and drink diary for a week, and completed a brain profile questionnaire.

The results showed that journalists’ brains were operating at a lower level than the average population, particularly due to dehydration and their tendency to self-medicate with alcohol, caffeine, and high-sugar foods.

41% of the subjects said they drank 18 or more units of alcohol a week, which is four units above the recommended weekly allowance. Less than 5% of them drank enough water, and some admitted to drinking none at all.

One need not look far to find once respectable mainstream media articles riddled with a host of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. The terrible lifestyles choices that these journalist make might be a contributing factor.

It would be interesting to see this study run in NZ to see how much worse our journalists function than the average journalist.