Monday, November 28, 2011

Black Journalism

I have noticed a disturbing trend in Online reporting.  Sensationalized headlines that are made to entice a reader to click a link only to find that the story has little or nothing to do with the headline, or worse: The story contradicts the headline!
A really monstrous example of this appears on todays AOL homepage.  The headline screams out at how people shopping on Black Friday, watched a man hit the floor with an apparent heart attack and shoppers stepped over him to keep shopping for "deals."

If you read the story, you find that the fact is that SIX! people came to the man's aid and performed CPR on the victim until EMS arrived.  Is this what journalism has become?  A bait and switch con to get clicks on links?  I think that a good writer could have written a headline that celebrated the people who came to the man's aid instead of appealing to the cynical side of the reading public.

Another "trick" is to put a question mark in the headline and make an outlandish claim, and since it's posed as a question it turns out that the claim is just speculation and can therefor be excused for not being fact.  ........REALLY? 

An example of this appeared last week.  The headline read "Julianna Hough (insert any celebrity name here)  cellphone hacked, nude pictures found ?"  If you read the story you find that in fact "NO"  no nude photos were found.  The question mark made it OK to let the headline imply that there were nude photos to be seen. it isn't  OK!

The time has arrived when quite a few people (myself included) get the majority of the news from the Internet.  It is sad that most of what I am reading is not news at all but a marketing ploy to get clicks on a link.  Shame ......for shame.