The Difference Between Hard News and Writing About Your Feelings
In this day and age, journalism is a gray area. People are finding it harder to discern fake news from real news, and real news from blogs.
Even less than 10 years ago, people who wrote blogs were basically keeping an online diary of their feelings and daily lives. The structure of blogging has changed drastically in that time, and while some people still use blogs in this way, others write exclusively about certain topics, one topic being news.
In my Online Journalism class, we discussed whether or not blogging could be real journalism. I believe the class consensus was a resounding “no,” except in special cases. In my mind, unless someone has written a story for a reputable news company and has posted it on their blog, it isn’t really journalism.
However, blogging isn’t the only thing that has changed in nature. Journalists have to adapt to their ever-changing environment as well. Newspaper writing came first, then radio, television, and so on.
The Importance of Adaptation
As the internet has revolutionized the way in which we receive our media, journalists have had to adjust as well. The days of a 24 hour news cycle are long gone. When something happens, it is the journalist’s job to get a story on the internet as soon as possible.
Journalists also have to compete much more with one another now. It isn’t enough to just get a click on a story. The real prize is found when readers read the entire story. This means the journalist has to have some tricks up their sleeve to keep the reader interested.
A journalist’s headline is by far the most important part of their article. However, in order to keep the attention of the reader, a subhead is also extremely important. A headline makes the reader click, and the subhead makes them read on.
Content in a story can only get you so far. You can have the best story on Earth, but if your headline and subhead is terrible, nobody will know.