Monday, November 28, 2016

Journalists or Advertisers?

Raquel Devariel
rd3201614@ohio.edu

It’s the twenty-first century, and technology is at its peak. Pretty obvious by now that not only millennials, but also baby boomers and even older generations, are taking part in world-wide conversations through the web.

Everyone has a voice that can be heard through the different social media outlets. Whether it’s through Facebook, Twitter or your favorite social medium you are connected to what’s happening around you.

But, if you’re like most readers, you don’t even bother to open the links your friends or followers share. You let yourself get information from the small synopsis a header can offer.

In a world where sharing information is extremely easy, as a journalist, how do you stand out from the crowd?

In recent years, journalists have created connections and engagements by trolling their readers with headlines, which has proven to be extremely effective.

The Columbia Journalism Review, in its article "Stop trolling your readers," calls these hate-share headlines, which are meant to generate public dissonance and infuriate the readers. After successfully generating those reactions, journalists know that most of the readers will click or share the article.

Little do they know that they have fallen for it because the article might not even be talking about what was mentioned in the headline. However, it has served its purpose of getting views and engagements, which then leads to more profit for the company.

Could it be possible that journalists are falsely advertising their content for views?

Are we, as journalists, putting our credibility at risk just to generating a couple more bucks?

As the American Advertising Federation says in their Code of Principles and Practices for Advertising Ethics, “The latest research from the Adweek Media/Harris Poll shows that only one in five Americans trust advertising most of the time and 13% say they never trust it,” which could become one of the most important statistics for the news and information industry.

Crossing to the “other side,” the advertising world, can result in more profit, but is it worth it to lose your credibility for more likes?  

This is a question that we journalists have to ask ourselves on a daily basis.

Taken from: http://stroudassociates.com
In my opinion, technology no doubt has made it difficult for us to stand out and for us to deliver news that stands out from the clutter, but we should use this reality as a motivation to succeed at what we do.

We need to use this to encourage ourselves to create exceptional content that will stand out regardless of the headline it comes with, and then, this is how you prove your success.

Creating stories that mean something and stories that no matter how busy or lazy readers are, create a spark of curiosity that leads not only to a click or a share, but also create a difference and impacts the lives of those who read and inform themselves.


Next time you are about to publish a story, ask yourself are you an advertiser who has lost their credibility? Or are you a journalist who upholds the standards of the industry and delivers relevant and important information?

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