Being a news junkie, I read news constantly. I became interested in the recent gold coin discovery out of San Francisco. I noticed an interesting perspective from several online news outlets, and thought it would be cool to highlight on the blog today.
First, the story: A couple in San Francisco finds over 1,400 gold coins, dating back to the mid-late 1800’s, in their yard. Amazing isn’t it? It conjures up images of the gold rush and the wild west.
Here is how the find was treated by a handful of different online outlets, with differing readers:
The San Francisco Chronicle
“Gold Country couple discover $10 million in buried coins”
The San Francisco Chronicle is the local paper, and they covered this story the way you would expect them to. The story is basic, covers the details of the find, what kind of coins were found, and what happens to them now.
They interview the coin dealer, Don Kagin, who has cleaned, researched, and is helping to sell the coins, and they tried to interview the couple who found the treasure, but they wish to remain anonymous, which is understandable in their situation.
“California couple in $10M gold find may owe gov’t about half”
How about this for an angle on the story?
Not surprising, Fox News wants to cover the aspects of this story that will resonate with their audience. The story itself is enough of a shocker, but throw in the fact that they have to pay taxes (whether the sell it or keep it) and that gets people talking.
We can’t blame Fox News, they are just reporting for their audience.
“Who Buried the $10 Million in Coins Found by a California Couple—and Why?”
National Geographic focuses on the historical aspect of the find. They talk about the history of the U.S. Mint and the gold rush, and well as give some context for this type of find, in history.
“The Crazy True History of the Saddle Ridge Gold Coins”
In my opinion, Mashable did the best job on this one. They did some quick internet research, and found a very plausible answer on where the treasure came from. If you only read one of these, make it the Mashable article.
They’ve found 2 references to a collection of 1,500 gold coins that went missing from the US Mint in San Francisco, in 1901. The thief was sentenced, but the treasure was never recovered… until now??
So let this recap be a reminder to all who are seeking publicity for their own stories. Remember the audience you’re trying to reach, as well as the audience of the media outlet you are pitching to. You also might want to do your own due diligence and answer any of the tough questions for them, as opposed to their finding out on their own.