Humanity has a way of reading between the lines if a statement leaves an open question.
The Crows have been flying up and down the slough again this morning; with one exception, there are no small birds pecking at their tail feathers. I would like to translate this to all of humanity but it would be a bit absurd. My between the lines addition would be; “This may mark the end of hostilities on all of Planet Earth.”
Very few people would buy into that statement, when in fact the birds not chasing the Crows could be carried a different direction. All of the new hatchlings have left the nest, they are not in danger any longer. We can interpret everything that occurs to our own pleasure, so goes journalism.
Four decades ago, mid-1970’s shift was happening in the newspaper industry, women began to enter the news world in droves. They populated the ranks of the beat reporters, political, and local news scenes. Along with that shift came a change in the way news articles were written, the effects are still being felt.
The women reporters looked at events from a different perspective than their male counterparts. Prior to this, a news item would be direct hard hitting words bent to drive a point home. They wrote not with the intent to change anyone’s opinions but to inform us, the competition in those days was being first to print with factual information.
When the dynamics shifted away from the males’ news items changed as well. the ladies Included in the news pieces comments pertaining to feelings and emotions. The insight that was brought up was unintentional, the ladies merely wrote just like the men. That is with the intermittent comments that show compassion. It remained a cutthroat industry but the new Female reporters added compassion to it.
A long process of change occurred starting back then, we at one point reached a point where the writing of men and women matched. Then an interesting event unfolded, the internet and the advent of “Brands”. We have to stand out to appeal to readers, to become notorious marketing has become the rule of internet masses. Marketing is now intertwined with social media, we must get likes, claps, karma, and followers. We are led to believe email lists and free giveaways are the road to fame as an artist.
“Content is King”, has been drilled into every blogger’s brain, there is no denying that but I’ve seen some pretty bad high ranking blogs. In our quest for making our brands a household word, our writing has changed also.
I have taken note of a writing technique that snuck up on me until one day I was reading news items and it dawned on me what it was. The articles begin by stating information about whatever the focal point is and will continue for 3-4 paragraphs where it should end. Instead of ending the opinion of the writer begins to be exposed and continues for what seems many times to be page after page. Then they will include the entire history of the item, repeating some things that we have all heard for months, completed with another opinion.
There are times while reading a news report I will think that I have read that somewhere before, is this person plagiarizing? No, professional journalists do not copy others work, This journalist was merely re-posting a segment of another article he/she wrote. There is nothing wrong with that, we bloggers do that all of the time by hyper-linking to something we wrote previous. But in these cases it gets boring, there is just not enough new news out there for articles to be original and unique, which makes some of us search for words. I get the impression they are writing by word count versus content.
Word Count writing is a trap that is easy to fall into. Countless web sites offering helpful advice for bloggers swear up and down that 3,000 words no more or less is the correct number. Others 800-1,000, we can find whatever we want to hear online. Word counting is just a small part of the huge secrets some sites are more than willing to sell to us.
It’s all done to improve our brands the underlying virus lurking beneath the internet edging us on, sometimes in the wrong direction. A Controversy is another trick to improve one’s brand. When we write the most obnoxious statement or blog imaginable it is generally an attraction to people for and against, as we have all seen sometimes with threats, racial slurs, and downright nastiness. Still, it ranks high in Google and other search engines.
Nastygram posts rank high with the search engines due to their own flaws, rewarding people for how many likes, friends, karmas, and claps they gather together. Is there any real talent in attracting people with negativity? I don’t think so, it only acts as a divisive entity and we have enough of that as it is.
The method the search engines use for ranking web sites is in my opinion completely wrong. To their credit most of the basic procedures were set before we all were able to see the ramifications. Facebook, Google, Medium, and others all reward nastyness with high rankings because they gather plenty of admirers. The goal of many bloggers is to make a liveing writing, so they go to the dark side, for a buck the search engines are eager to pay them.
Much the same professional journalist have been drawn into the same mess, to compete they have to be in the same court. They are competing against professional writers as well as every blogger out here, so their brand (name) has to be widely known.
One other practice that has taken over journalism is the claim that everyone is the same, a hardened criminal is the same as a girl scout den mother. The journalists need to start telling it as it is again, everyone is not the same, some people, corporations, and groups are evil, and others are not; that distinction should again be the norm.
It has been a complete re-structuring of the news industry since the mid 1970’s, it started when the ladies entered the field in large numbers. That was a good thing, while it was taking place I remember it being like a breath of cool air, now everyone writes like they started to decades ago. They add a dash of humanity to each story, written in such a way to invite comments they are more in the conversation mode. We all get tired being talked at, just tune into cable news if there is any dought.
The industry is set for another change and I tend to think it will be sooner than later. Two things I wish for is to stop the manifesto after each news article that is written, and cut out the “everyone is the same”, mantra, it’s just not the truth.
Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance