Headlines lie to catch attention. Only few read beyond them.
This lets them miss the facts, and the falsehood of headlines. It is a dangerous development.
Here is an Australian example of current headline writing:
Top secret information about Australia's military hacked
TOP secret technical information about new fighter jets, navy vessels, and surveillance aircraft has been stolen from an Australian defence contractor.
A relevant story one thinks. But it does not hold what the headline promises. Down in the text it says:
- ".. the firm was subcontracted four levels down from defence contracts."
- ".. a mum and dad type business ... with about 50 employees"
- "the admin password, to enter the company's web portal, was ‘admin' and the guest password was ‘guest'"
- "the information ... included a diagram in which you could zoom in down to the captain's chair and see that it was one metre away from the navigation chair"
- "the information disclosed was commercially sensitive, it was unclassified"
The last snippet completely rebuts the headline. It appears in 18th of the 20 paragraphs story.
A truthful (but boring) headline might have said: "Defense rat-shop puts marketing stuff on open website". But no one would have clicked it.
Headlines disproved by the following text have become common:
"It was not immediately clear what Trump was responding to."
"A large number of ads appeared in [other] areas of the country that were not heavily contested in the elections."
"It is too soon to map out exactly how the drug war will affect the health of Filipinos."
News content is now of lesser relevance than ever. "Clicks" are generated by headlines:
"Clicks" generate "visits" which convert into advertising revenue. Such headlines make economic sense - short-term. But the best paying advertisers seek a quality audience. In the long-term they will avoid such sites.
Once upon a time sensationalist headlines were the sole realm of tabloid media. That is unfortunately no longer the case. Headlines of even reputable media no longer transmit facts. One has to dive deep into the stories to get to real information.
This trend will lead to a further stultification of the population. It makes it easier to manipulate the plebs.
Posted by b on October 12, 2017