The Problem with Modern Day Journalism
We do it for the clicks
It’s Friday. I’m scrolling down my Facebook feed and come across a link to a post saying there’s a new Mos Def track. Not Yasiin Bey. Mos Def. I click on it. And I read that Yasiin Bey is bringing his alias Mos Def (whom we got to know and love) out of retirement. My inner Hip Hop head smiles. Being a fan of him since “Blackstar” days, how could these news not make me happy? Something else happens. The blogger in me thinks “I need to get this up on the blog, and quick”. Before everybody else has picked up the news. For the clicks. Because once news are not news anymore, people won’t care. And this great new music I just discovered will not convert into high numbers in my blog stats. And that’s what we all want nowadays, don’t we? High numbers. Likes. Thumbs up. Clicks. Comments. We live for those, don’t we?
So I grab the artwork and song link and quickly post it to my blog, along with a few written lines of excitement about a possible soon to come Mos Def project.
And it does get me clicks. Because I was fast. Because I didn’t waste any time.
It’s Monday. I’m scrolling down my Facebook feed and come across a link to a post with a video from Yasiin Bey, where he states that Mos Def does no longer exist, and will never be again. He goes on to saying that any outlets stating otherwise are lying and that this is illegal. While I also feel disappointed, I mostly feel ashamed. And annoyed. Because I just recorded my podcast in which I talked about the Mos Def comeback. Which I will now have to erase and do all over again.
So I did. And while doing so, I started to think. About journalism. Isn’t one of the top rules of journalism to research everything? To double and triple check your facts and sources. What happened to that? We are in such a rush these days to get content online, in order to be the first and grab all the clicks, all the readers, who haven’t even been waiting for these news. We are in such a rush that we neglected the number one rule. We waste no time on fact checking. Hell, does it even matter if what we say is a fact, as long as it gets people to click on it?
What happened to integrity?
I have struggled with myself many times, contemplating if I should post certain music, even if I don’t like it, simply to get more traffic. 98% of the time I decide against it. But there’s that 2% still. There’s that hunger for getting your work attention, in a room full of attention whores.
So we talk about the Twitter beefs and the love triangles. Because controversy sells. But where does that leave real Music? Good music, without the scandals. Without the big names. Just simply good music. It doesn’t get you any clicks, that’s what happened.