The Six Things I Hate About Click-Bait. Number 8 Will SHOCK You!

I’m about to make myself seem really old.

When I was a kid we subscribed to a paper, got it delivered (well, I was the delivery boy), and actually had to READ the news.  Our hands got grimy and mum would yell at me for leaving fingerprints all over the house.  Then in the 90s some forward thinking news companies started publishing articles online as well.  This, to me was amazing.  Now I could read about events all over the world, a topic which took up only 2 pages in our local ink stained paper.  Suddenly I had informed opinions about global events.

Throughout University I kept up to date with the world through the BBC and CNN, but then suddenly everything changed – the news wasn’t entertaining enough.  Instead of reporting events everything was sensationalized.  It became increasingly difficult to find anywhere to read news, everything was in videos. News anchors would stand in front of the camera with no new information, but they’d continue talking about the subject regardless.  Projections and assumptions became the story.  People wanted to know what was happening RIGHT NOW, instead of waiting to hear the truth tomorrow. “We have no idea exactly how many people have stubbed their toe at the corner of 4th and broadway in the last hour, but we have to assume it is in the MILLIONS.  More on this at 11.”

I’m not down on the internet, I love it.  It gives me a chance to talk to the world about my son (who brought me my slippers the other night, OMG he’s so adorable and awesome…), it’s full of valid information and it’s a great way to spend an hour being entertained.  I know the news as it was falls WAY down on the list of exciting ways to spend an afternoon (above watching paint dry, but below having a nap), but that’s because it’s the NEWS.  It’s not supposed to be an engaging story or a blockbuster movie, it’s fact (or as close as you can ever get) and it’s informative.  The news doesn’t care who you are, it just wants to be read.

Maybe if we paid a little more attention to it all those years ago it wouldn’t have to be shouted at us now.

Good luck out there.

1 thought on “The Six Things I Hate About Click-Bait. Number 8 Will SHOCK You!”

  • Have you read any of Neil Postman’s books? He wrote one called Amusing ourselves to Death. He talks a bit about how news is now supposed to be entertaining.

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