Remember when the only sources of news we had were from the newspaper, radio, and television? Before I was born, people would have to “walk 20 miles uphill to the nearest nickel shop for ice-cream-flavored ice cream, and a copy of the Times Herald Journal News.”

And, apparently, they liked it just fine.

Journalists, in those days, would have to take their time to develop important headlines, focusing on the integrity of each story, and adjusting the tone of the highlighted phrases to match each article. Here’s a few big ones, just to give you a reminder:

U.S. Declares War: Congress Acts Quickly in Reply to Japanese Attack

Babe Smashes Former Record: Ends Season with 54 Homers

Pretty self-explanatory, right? US declares a war. Fat guy hits a bunch of balls. Yep. Pretty easily defined. Don’t even have to read the story, really.

With the age of the internet came the 24-hour news cycle. Newspapers were forced to catch up, and bring their periodicals online. The blogosphere was created, and updates were given an obviously-biased twist. Radio-style news is pretty much all but dead at this point, save for some traffic reports-

Eh, you get the point.

So now that we’re all caught up to the modern news, let’s talk about how the headlines are looking now.

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Yikes. You used to be cool, News. What happened to you?

I heard a term the other day, while I was on Facebook, that really kinda stuck with me – “like whoring.” Like whoring is best defined as “the act of creating an online post for the sole purpose of generating support, often for self-serving reasons and rarely for the benefit of the general public.” Basically, like whoring is attempting to get AS MANY CLICKS AS GODDAMNIDY POSSIBLE.

I get it – times are tough. There’s tens of thousands of news sources available online, and not enough people in the world to get subscriptions from. But why, in the name of Tom Brokaw, did they have to stoop to the same level as a teenaged girl with an addiction to bathroom mirror photos?

“You Guys Will Never Believe What Happened at the White House”

“The Biggest OMG Moments of the JFK Assassination”

“Here’s 13 Signs Your BFF May Actually Be a Domestic Terrorist”

I struggle with websites like Upworthy and Buzzfeed (who literally posted this story as a headline), who speak to the general public using pictures and videos, because I prefer my news with substance. I don’t need an interactive websites with tons of bells and whistles, just so I can see what’s going on in the world. And I especially do not need these stupid, juvenile headlines, whose sole purpose is to increase their click rates.

“But Steve, they need those clicks so advertisers can keep them afloat.”

NOPE. DON’T CARE.

Headlines can be attention-grabbing without having to be the “Top 5” of something extremely unimportant, or “Shocking New Photos” of celebrities holding hands, or some other shit like that. Headlines can have integrity. Headlines can do their job, by summarizing a story, instead of treating each news item like it’s the fucking Pandora’s Box.

Well, that’s my rant for today. I’m gonna go back to seeing why Obama’s dog is “such a drama queen.”

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