When was the last time you bought something online? I would wager that you bought something recently. At the very least, you bought something around Christmastime.
How did you buy that item? I would also wager that you did not just buy the first item that you came across. Chances are, you thought about stuff that you’re going to buy, read some reviews, made some cross comparison regarding different vendors, and once you have found the right manufacturer and model, you then compared prices. You might have even gone the extra mile and compared different shipping packages and offers.
This is how normal, mature adults make informed decisions online. This is how they position themselves to getting maximum value while getting the very best prices. In other words, they do comparison shopping as well as review analysis.
Wouldn’t it be nice if people applied the same methodology to their news? This is what this website is all about. By presenting the same news item published by many different online publications, you can do comparison news browsing by going through these different news outlets and becoming aware of how the same set of facts are presented by many different organizations.
You can read between the lines. Obviously, misleading or manipulative headlines stick out like a sore thumb.
By presenting this information, you can adequately compare. You’re not left stuck taking the word of your favorite online newspaper at face value. You have at least several other sources to compare the news to. This way, the truth would stick out as well as the manipulation, the gross exaggerations and the other bag of tricks that journalists normally pull.
Now, why would otherwise professional and responsible, mature journalists engage in such tricks? Well, if you think about the economic realities facing the online news business, it is quite obvious why there is a need to engage in such practices. It really is. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this out.
There is a tremendous economic incentive for newspapers to use tabloid style headlines because when lined up with other news items on social media platforms, those are the kinds of headlines that get the most clicks. It really all boils down to getting maximum attention and manipulating the narrative so as to get even more attention.
This is why it’s kind of a downward slippery slope for most news outlets, and I’m not at all excluding places like CNN from this. In fact, CNN has been the recipient of severe criticism from no less than the president of the United States for engaging in such behavior.
But unfortunately, unless the financial incentive is taken out, you can expect otherwise respectable and long standing online news brands to engage in the same range of practices. Now, they might not be as egregious about it, but you can bet that this will always be at play at some level or another. This is why you need to compare your sources so you can get to the truth sooner rather than later.