I’ve mentioned before how I’m disgusted with the news media and social media in general. I used to be a news junkie, listened to talk radio, and collected newspapers and saved articles I thought were interesting. I can barely look at the news anymore. My social media feed is filled with posts from people who should know better, sharing the worst kind of hysterical nonsense.
However–the following article popped up in my feed recently and it is brilliant. Just to preface this, I’ve never read this blog before and I don’t know the author. I have no idea whether there’s an ulterior motive behind it. All I know is that everyone should read this article:
Here are some highlights:
“Your captive attention is worth billions to them in advertising and subscription revenue.”
“To get a story picked up by the News Feed Editor, news producers (and human editors) have changed their strategies to stay relevant and stem losses. To do this, many news organizations have adopted a traffic-at-all-costs mentality, pushing for more engagement at the expense of what we would traditionally call editorial accuracy.”
“For many users, the headline itself becomes the story, even if it doesn’t resemble the original factual event.”
You get the picture. I’ve never read an article so succinctly, accurately, and clearly explain what’s happened to the news over the past decade. You could argue this trend started before social media, but that’s splitting hairs as far as I’m concerned. The important thing is recognizing what’s going on and why, and why you should avoid being taken in by it and not perpetuate it.
Have I fallen victim to the media hysteria? Sure. As the article explains, it’s hard not to because this stuff is deliberately designed to circumvent your reasoning. But that’s all the more reason we should remain vigilant and be more aware of the media we consume.