For most people, articles about economics are about as exciting as:
(Please choose a metaphor from the following list: 1. dry toast 2. drying paint 3. jungle rot 4. I don’t know because I’ve never actually made it through an article about economics in its entirety)
Journalists realize the difficult task they face in writing about economics for a general audience, especially when many of the people in that audience seem as attentive as:
(Please choose a metaphor from the following list: 1. dry toast 2. drying paint 3. jungle rot 4. I don’t know because I’ve never met an actual reporter who cared about me, a member of an actual audience)
So, what’s the best way to confront those metaphors? With another metaphor, of course.
You can just about hear the conversation about using this picture, can’t you?
“Any ideas on how to illustrate that piece on economic stimulus in Japan? We can’t run it with just words.”
“How about a shot of Hatoyama?”
“You’re kidding, right? Think metaphors. What do you have that fits with ‘stimulus’?”
“Page 3 girls?”
“Right, right. But this isn’t a bloody tab, now is it?”
“A construction crane, maybe? Metaphors in that.”
“Good, good, except there’s no expression in cranes. We need something with people. Hmm. I got it: weightlifting. What do we have of a Japanese weightlifter? Make it a woman. Write a cutline with something about ‘heavy lifting.’ Perfect. Run with that. I love metaphors. Just love them.
“Hey! Anybody have jam for this toast? It’s awfully dry.”
(Thanks to Anthony Whaley for sending this one along.)