Press, Rant

Tired of No-Effort Outrage Stories and Upworthy-Type Crap

Skimming headlines / posts on Facebook today, I caught yet another "outrage" story about a startup that was hacked, and OMG the founder was caught waving some cash on a profile picture and how dare he exhibit that kind of behavior in a personal picture when his startup had security vulnerabilities.

A couple of things annoyed me about this post, and I took a while to think about what they are/were.

  • Tying the founder's picture holding cash to the security problem is a bit unfair. Young kid has a chance to hold more cash than he'd probably ever seen before, and gets silly. BFD. I know lots of people who'd do silly things with a pile of cash. That's unrelated to whether or not they'd run their business/do their job with seriousness.
  • The continual barrage of things written to incite outrage is tiring. Yeah, I've written one or two stories in my time because I found something I thought deserved calling out. I didn't pump out story after story like that, though. A steady diet of outrage simply leaves people fatigued and makes it more difficult to muster actual outrage when something truly bad happens.
  • The biggest problem I have, though? It's lazy. Requires little to no effort, and constitutes little to no research. Something happened, blogger went into reactive mode, churned out a post, and… that's it.

Not that this is a new thought or anything, but I am concerned and disappointed in how little actual journalism seems to be taking place today – and how unnoticed it is when it is done. There is still a world out there full of interesting and important stories, but there seems to be very little opportunity for writers to research and write them, and a damn small audience that would appreciate anything longer than 800 words with an Upworthy-type trash headline.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *