By Mackenzie Currie
News has been seen as a gateway for receiving information. This information can include a multitude of different things including entertainment, politics or even other media outlets such as YouTube or Twitch. News has become biased, now more than ever, and sometimes even crude in its way of delivering information to the public. Newspapers and other sharing outlets should allow the readers or watchers to form their own opinions on a given subject and not outright state an opinion that the particular writer has about said subject.
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) released an article about modern age news and the use of clickbait. Clickbait is a way to grab someone’s attention by stating something that may or may not be in a specific article. This method of grabbing watchers is mostly popular on platforms such as YouTube, but newspaper articles have also used their fair share of clickbait, however, not all clickbait is terrible. Some of it can be used to help people see how climate change affects the world we live in, or how we should respect other people for what they believe in. Most of it is used for the sole intent of grabbing some money or making a company more popular towards the public.
The BBC continued to write that most editors will dumb down a story to the absolute bare bones of the mess just to grab a few clicks or readers. Ken Smith, the chairman of the Welsh Executive Council of the National Union of Journalists, states that, if media outlets do this to their stories long enough, we will be heading down, “a dangerous path.” He further states that looking at one individual concern will limit looking up information on a given subject. People would give the paper praise, but for what reason?
The next question is, “What do we do?” How do we stop papers from using clickbait and other methods of just grabbing attention? The unfortunate answer is that we cannot. We can, however, look at different ways for news to be treated. For viewers and readers, the news should be treated as a source of information that is not too vague, but it’s not super specific on one thing either. The news should be another way to encourage someone to look up the subject themselves so they can become intrigued by it in their own ways.
How should the media treat its subscribers? Instead of treating readers as a source of income, treat them as a teacher would treat students. Educate the readers on the subject given and do not overly dumb it. The world is not at a stand-still, so writing shouldn’t be either. Encourage both children and adults to dive into extra research on a subject.
Mackenzie Currie is a sophomore theatre major from Portland, Indiana.