Inconvenience for profit
One thing I remember very distinctly about journalism was the concept that you put the most important information in the first paragraph and then follow up with details as the story continues. The theory, at the time was that not everyone needed the details and if everything was explained in the first paragraph people would… Read More »

Inconvenience for profit

One thing I remember very distinctly about journalism was the concept that you put the most important information in the first paragraph and then follow up with details as the story continues. The theory, at the time was that not everyone needed the details and if everything was explained in the first paragraph people would get the news they needed faster.

That has changed. With the invention of online news, they have completely reversed the concept. Now the pertinent information is hidden sometimes behind multiple pages of clicks and ads. Frequently the details are hinted at in a headline and not fully explained until much later. The idea I suppose is that we no longer care when you get the news. We care about how long you stay on the page and the potential for you to click and add.

The most irritating of these for me are the food recall news articles that tell you there are 10 dangerous products in the headline and then forced you to go looking to find out whether or not you are affected by such recalls.

Journalism is now for profit more than ever. It’s not enough that you buy a newspaper. Now you have to get your news and stay on the page and the next page and the next page. The headlines have become ridiculous clickbait. The important details are at the bottom or the third page.

And of course, we accept it It’s free.

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