Fakes news sites have been so successful (they make a lot of money from advertising) that many traditional news services began to adopt the fake news techniques and you won’t believe what happened next!
We end up with hastily written, weakly reviewed, often inaccurate stories with click bait headlines:
In the fight to be heard, journalists now turn to search-engine optimization (SEO)—tagging every story with its most trend-worthy terms. They bend stories into clickbait.
It’s a trend that can’t be ignored, says D. Hunter Schwarz (BA ’12), coauthor of CNN’s Coverline, a politics–pop culture mash-up. “Your average person is not watching a bill progress,” says Schwarz.
And so his newsletter and podcast weave Britney Spears and the Kardashians into the political coverage.
Because of the all-mighty click, story selection and presentation are changing: newsrooms are increasingly chasing the stuff we like.
“It’s eye-candy journalism,” says Campbell: sports, “list-icles,” the slideshow of 10 things. “The eyes stay with them a long time. They make money.
”It’s celebrity anything, says alumna Marti Johnson, a freelance reporter for the Associated Press and a C-SPAN announcer. “[Americans] just hoover up information on celebrities.”
Source: BYU Magazine
Read the whole thing. Reader clicks, ad revenue, and the bottom line drive everything we see now. The rise of social media – and Likes and Sharing – is what drives the entire business model.
Journalists, understandably, do not like being lumped together with “fake news” as a broad brush – yet from the above quote, the industry has adopted the “fake news” publishers’ business models. Journalists are starting to realize it is up to themselves to reform the industry.
This quote from the linked story is what this blog is all about:
“Fake news is designed to create an emotional response so you do something, so you share it.”
In other words, propaganda messaging.