Newspaper editors have always had a difficult job. On top of ensuring that content is objective, fact-checked and accurate, they have two more daunting tasks – to ensure that content is of interest to readers and that there is space for it.
It’s the very reason that one of America’s foremost daily newspapers, The New York Times, still prints its famous slogan on the upper-left corner of page one: “All the News That’s Fit to Print.” That motto was added to insist of its intention to report the news impartially, but it also underscores a common trait of which digital media knows nothing about – space in printed media is limited.
The fact whereby digital media has no limits to the stories it can publish is also its curse. The result is a tendency to produce seemingly senseless pieces by today’s digital shock jocks who write and often opine to deliberately offend and demean – all for clicks. They are, in essence, the digital newspaper equivalent of tabloids who entertain rather than provide factual or newsworthy information.
This sort of thing happens every day, of course, but was recently noticeable in a Parents magazine online story (above). It’s hard to imagine why else one mom’s attempt to ridicule her husband gets this kind of attention on a national level.
Only on a digital platform.
Maybe if we stop keeping score, stop pointing fingers and simply encourage, uplift and treat everyone equal – and in the way we speak to others – we won’t need a useless headline like this.