Image by pixel2013
A quick google search for ‘news sites’ gives you 872 million results. With all of these options, and news being on so many different platforms from YouTube videos and Facebook feeds to online essays about current events, one would think that journalism has never been better. However, it is just as difficult if not more difficult for journalists to uphold journalistic ethics.
It is easy to point and laugh at the ‘yellow journalism’ of the past with its focus on scandal over content, but the clickbait headlines of websites such as Buzzfeed are not much different. One Buzzfeed article in the news section is ‘Which Ousted Arab Spring Ruler Are You?’ Multiplatform journalism has blurred the lines between silly pop culture stories and hard news stories as both are often on the same sites, which makes finding substance-based new stories difficult.
Clickbait headlines are written with as little information as possible to entice the viewer. If a person scrolls past they have little to no information about what could be an important topic. This allows fake news such as the unverified Donald Trump dossier to spread with little fact checking from casual newsreaders.
Keeping moral integrity is also difficult for journalists in an age where everyone can look for anything. Facebook Live has resulted in millions of people watching murders, rapes and suicides. It is virtually impossible for ethical journalists to keep people from watching disturbing content that do more harm to watch than good.
The vastness of internet content has made writing important, accurate news easy for journalists to simply skip.
This video explains the sad reality of clickbait’s popularity: