What is it they say? “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” That’s the way it is with 21st century journalism, especially of the technology variety. Insightful analysis is there, but it’s not on every street corner, and often hidden among a sea of click bait headlines which distort reality almost beyond belief.
Yellow Journalism is alive and well on the World Wide Web these days, and it’s unfortunate that the disease has infected major publications which once had a reputation for insightful analysis.
Yellow journalism and the yellow press are American terms for journalism and associated newspapers that present little or no legitimate well-researched news while instead using eye-catching headlines for increased sales. Techniques may include exaggerations of news events, scandal-mongering, or sensationalism.
That must sound like about half of what you read regarding the Apple ecosystem. Rumors are stated as facts. Obscure and unsubstantiated reports on various and sundry topics are picked up by website after website and disclosed as factual.
Forbes Magazine– Forbes.com– once a purveyor of insightful business analysis, has gone the way of Business Insider, Huffington Post, and many other online only publications which push such sensationalist drivel out the door as if digital ink cost much less than real paper and real ink.
Duh. It does. Colleagues Wilbur and Jeffrey have punished Forbes.com and others for their lack of integrity and link bait headlines that distort the reality of a situation, but it’s easy to see why the likes of Forbes, BI, and HP do their deeds the old fashioned way.
Forbes.com uses a “contributor model” in which a wide network of “contributors” writes and publishes articles directly on the website. Contributors are paid based on traffic to their respective Forbes.com pages; the site has received contributions from over 2,500 individuals, and some contributors have earned over US$100,000, according to the company. Forbes currently allows advertisers to publish blog posts on its website alongside regular editorial content
The unfortunate side effect of such journalistic shenanigans is that most readers don’t know the difference between such fiction disguised as news and real news or insightful analysis.
Unfortunately again, there is little that can be done about such misleading information whores because free speech and money are far more important than journalistic integrity or facts.
Some have gone so far as to call such rubbish what it is. Malware. Rene Ritchie:
Inform, educate, and empower. Don’t scare, sensationalize, and stupefy just to steal attention… this stuff is effectively a malware attack on readers.
Yellow journalism has been around since mankind learned to write, but the term itself became popularized in the mid-1890s. What does that tell you about the progress of humankind?
The term yellow journalism is used today as a pejorative to decry any journalism that treats news in an unprofessional or unethical fashion
Not much has changed. The only evolution is the obvious one. Thanks to the interwebs, yellow journalism is everywhere in the 21st century, and most people cannot tell the difference, so the practice has spread even to once well respected publications like Forbes Magazine.
The evolution of technology journalism has one change that differs from yellow journalism of a century ago. Proliferation. It’s everywhere.