April Fool’s Day stories

It’s interesting to see how people respond to media’s attempts at bringing a smile to people’s faces. April Fool’s stories are a big thing, can the media hoodwink their followers on this day. There were some good stunts out there too.

Year 2 MPJ student, Sam Dent, created one for the Grimsby Telegraph on the Royal couple, Wills and Kate visiting the Pier in Cleethorpes, It attracted 43 comments from GT readers, some were really harsh and negative. My reason for writing this to ask why? At the end of the day it was a bit of light hearted fun on what is traditionally half a day of pranks and antics, all to make people laugh and smile.

Some were hoodwinked by the story and the newsroom received numerous calls from people asking where they could get their tickets and some to offer congratulations on a funny story. I thought it was plausible, why wouldn’t Kate and Wills come to Cleethorpes? They are a modern couple, we’re always being told it’s about being accessible and the Royal family are to be seen amongst us all.

My students were angered by some people’s comments on the site. People who seemed to think it was a lame story and not a good attempt at an April Fool. But what makes a good April Fool? In discussions in the newsroom, the news editor told the students that the story, while having to be believable also had to have an element in it which made people question its reality. I have to say I think there are many real news stories out there, which many question as being not true, when in reality they are 100% true.

At the end of the day it was a light hearted fun story and I don’t really know what these people expected. At the end of the day, the story provoked enough interest for people to comment, even if they didn’t like it, so I ask the question who’s the fool here? Certainly not the paper, they’ve generated further traffic to their website….

PS. It is said that anyone who fails to see the funny side of an April Fool will have bad luck.

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