In this case, it's to (not so) subtly point out the insanity of one "side" of the argument. By personalizing a single story, they point out that you too, kid who has certifiably insane parents, can right the wrongs they have done to you when you come of age.
News has always been subjective. To some people, this is more important than what Trump did today or what Brexit happenings are going down. Some people prefer to read about celebrities. To each their own.
However, as another poster pointed out, if your goal is to criticize the story by bringing attention to how much of a non-story it is, then congrats, you just made it a story. By getting the eyeballs of potentially hundreds more readers, you've just spread the story more effectively than the news outlet(s) could on their own.
Finally, a question. What is manufactured personalization? This is an anecdote of one human being. The news outlets didn't manufacture it - this really happened. They spread the story, but unless you're suggesting they put the idea in the kid's head and incentivized him to do it, that's just called reporting.
Was going to say something similar to cdude1034 and SpokenTruth, so I'll just quote them and add to it.
There is a multifaceted problem with how information is consumed today. It's not just a problem with false information, or people's inability to fact check important stories.
Why did anti-vaxing even become a thing? Do you think these people mainly read through pages upon pages of scientific 'research'?
Or was it because of how the story became personally relatable with the 'autism' thing?
I'm betting it's the later.
We live in a world where many people primarily only read headlines, and chanting three worded sentences can be more efficient than actually discussing details.
Build The Wall
Lock Her Up
Yes We Can
So to reach certain people the answer may not be to publish tens of thousands of peer reviewed studies from research (see global warming), but rather to sensationalize a story, like this. And hopefully that incentivizes them to read up on the details, like that one person in this thread. But unfortunately, I'm sure many will not.
Is it ok just because it's true, or just because it aligns with what I think?
It's not like media aren't manipulative even when they publish traditional stories.
And to touch a bit on what was said in the quotes above, I think it's important that a story like this gets the spotlight to highlight just what a ridiculous situation we are in.
In the 80's people expected us to have flying cars in 2019. Instead, we have teenagers defying their parents, and sneaking out to get vaccinations.
That he is legally able isn't really the point. It's ridiculous that he even had to do it in the first place. And that he survived for 18 years when someone sneezing on him could have sent him to an early grave.
@bolded: Probably with the Red Scare and McCarthyism. At the time vaccines were considered a Soviet ploy to socialize medicine and that the profession had been infiltrated massively by Russian doctors. Considering how widespread and engraved the red scare got, I think it all really started there. Add to this some religious beliefs (like the fact that Jehova's witnesses don't allow for blood donations as it makes them "unpure") and some puritan traditions, and you get a perfect storm for anti-vaxxers to even be a thing. The link between vaccines and Autism came only 2 decades later, but is now the driving force against it.
The problem with the news is partly that they need money, so they are incentivised to make their articles as eye-catchy and sensational as possible, especially on their internet presence, hence the clickbait headlines full of half-truths. It also works against them as many people assume the rest of the article just from the headline, so you can say it went horribly right for them, as they get more clicks and thus sponsor money, but undermines their entire profession. Media would need an independent and reliable source of income to avoid these pitfalls, but good luck finding something like that.I really wish people wouldn't just assume the rest from the headlines, but quite a few do, and there ain't much you can do against it.
Another problem is that many who are against these things are actually not dumb or not interested in the matter, quite the opposite in fact as a study found out (would need to dig deep to find that one again). They just are very selective about the information. If there are 100 articles proving climate change for instance and one railing against it, they dismiss the 100 articles before and truly believe the one against it as proof that it's all a hoax. How do you want to fight against that unless the climate changes hits them right into their faces? Unless there would be no misinformation about such things anymore on the internet, which is impossible, they will not change their mind unless somebody else points out the dots and plotholes in the threads they are following.