A heading in an article that I read a while back went ,
‘Are there prostitutes in England?’ The Pope’s first words when he arrived.
Now that’s a catchy headline. I was intrigued enough to read the article. I imagine a whole lot of other people were too. A whole lot more than if it the heading had simply been ‘The Pope arrives in England'(Incidentally the article goes on to explain that the Pope had been asked by a cheeky reporter whether he would be seeing any prostitutes while he was visiting. The Pope had inquired with equal humor ,I imagine, whether there were any in England. )
Back in the day when I was a kid we actually read ENTIRE Haveeru newspaper top to bottom. The amount of news and entertainment we got were kind of limited, so after exhausting the comics and entertainment section I would eventually read the politics , business sections as well. The writing didn’t disappoint at all. Those days only the best made it to work as journalists in the major newspapers. However sensational the heading appeared to be most articles also delivered with the quality of the content as well.
This is clearly not the case nowadays. Every Tom , Dick and Yowgoob are now self professed journalist/writers/bloggers or ‘experts’. The need to over-sensationalize, to pull in readers have clearly exceeded the desire to bring out quality content. More readers mean more pay as most writers online get paid according to the number of readers who click on their articles. Writers have become desperate and the desperation is clearly showing in the articles I see when I open my Yahoo browser every day.
Two entertainers coincidentally wearing the same T shirt THREE WEEKS APART was somehow reported as ‘Who would win in this CRAZY fashion battle?’
The strange/alien/epic creature found in some obscure part of the world turns out to be something disappointing like a rat or mosquito.
The MOST EPIC goal/shot/strike EVER in a sports video usually turns out to be pretty cool to watch I agree but not necessarily the best of all time.
Don’t get me even started on all the articles about the BEST moves for a flat stomach :S.
Anyway being a habitual reader here are just some of the tricks I’ve noticed that writers use to lure in more clicks.
1- THE BEST MUSIC VIDEO EVER!!! Because clearly the title ‘A really good music video’ will not compel everyone to click on it. The problem is, there are hundreds of music videos with the ‘best ever’ title so things become confusing.
2- THE MOST EPIC – Epic is clearly an overused word now.
3- Someone or something had done something clearly EPIC. WHAT HE DID. Sigh.. Now i suppose I have to click open the damn thing to find out. Couldn’t have told me in the freaking heading huh?
4- THE TOP TEN something of all time. People love lists. We are psychologically programmed to. Its an easy favorite.Lists spark discussion about what should have been included and what shouldn’t have. Although nowadays the lists are clearly turn out to be based more on the writers opinion.
5- Any dumass thing that Justin Beiber/ Kim Kardashion/The cast of Jersey shore or Twilight did. Personally I don’t like to read this crap. But I imagine that the reason this kind of news is so prominent and excessive is that MOST people love creeping celebrities lives.
This clearly turned out to be more of a rant than an essay. i seriously need to get some sleep.