December 19th 2016
Today I am appalled with the abhorrent state of news media. I get so frustrated with the quality of news media and journalism in this country, frustration bordering on anger.
Every outlet is so intent, and hell bent on being fastest finger first when it comes to reporting the news that they aren’t bothered about reporting the truth. Because if something they reported turns out to be false or misinformed then they can just print an apology in 6 pt font on page 72 or tweet it at 2am in the morning and hope no one sees it – right, Katie Hopkins?
And a consequence of them trying to produce content as fast as possible is that it gets sloppy. Thus, poorly written, poorly sourced articles are the ones that get shared because they got there first, and if you’re not first then you’re chip paper.
Pieces are written with a Flesch-Kincaid reading age of about five and a half, because that’s the sort of folk who are consuming it. I watched an interesting video the other day titled ‘How Donald Trump Answers A Question’ that cites that one of the reasons Donald Trump won the election for US presidency is because the way he talks is, although very calculated, simultaneously very dumb.
He uses one or two syllable words, repeats his ‘Trump words’ that elicit emotion, and repeats for emphasis. It’s a basic way of speaking, but it has his desired effect. And that’s what news media do nowadays. They pump out basic, poorly written stories because they get clicks.
As a sidenote, I read an article about Sky’s acquisition by 21st Century Fox, aka Rupert Murdoch Inc. It documented some facts… The Sun (itself, a Murdoch owned publication) was very pro-Brexit, insofar as it could be said that The Sun campaigned for Britain to leave the EU. When Britain did eventually vote for Britain to leave the EU, the value of the pound against the dollar fell. Murdoch, an American businessman, was able to buy Sky for $1.5b less than it would’ve cost him before the pound crashed.
That’s an interesting set of circumstances, to say the least… And it just furthers my inherent distrust of the current news media. Everyone pushes their political agendas on their readership, subtly or blatantly, to further their own net worth. And that’s sickening.
The goal is no longer to inform or educate, it’s to shock and exploit. So much so, that today, within 10 minutes of his death, I saw a video on my twitter timeline of the Russian ambassador for Turkey being assassinated.
A video of the murder of a human being was posted by various news outlets without so much as a graphic content warning. Why?
Retweets. Clicks. AdSense. Repeat.
Quality, accurate, engaging and informative content is no longer relevant in news media. It’s all about the retweets, baby.
Until tomorrow, someone should change the way that it works.