Sunday, October 30, 2016

Four reasons why listicles and clickbait are killing real journalism...

In July 2016, the Croydon Advertiser – a 123-year-old newspaper – published two lookalike stories on facing pages. Headlined “13 things you’ll know if you are a Southern rail passenger” and “9 things you didn’t know about Blockbuster” the articles stood out for their striking similarity.

Both articles were an example of an editorial phenomenon more commonly associated with the internet – the “listicle”. A portmanteau of “list” and “article”, listicles are incredibly popular, at the moment, but also controversial. To some, listicles are the inevitable result of cost-cutting – and the listicles below did indeed appear after a newsroom restructure.

Listicles assume the public wants information in quick hits and “prefers mindless fluff and trivia over hard news”. Listicles are far from new – The Ten Commandments anyone? – but traditionally, print journalism has used lists either as a sidebar to other articles or as standalone specials (such as the Sunday Times Rich List). But on sites such as Buzzfeed, such traditional conventions are ignored. Full story...

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