Journalism… you’re doing it wrong

I’m starting to develop a pet peeve when it comes to reading articles online, specifically ones from major news outlets. That pet peeve is the sudden drop-off of an article. As of late, I’ll be chugging along in an article, read an interesting fact, and then… nothing. It’s like the author just stopped. No closure, no wrap up of any sort, nothing. You just get left hanging with questions or the author’s half-formed thoughts.

Why? If it’s a blog, I understand. Usually they aren’t as formal as a major news outlet, and their writing isn’t expected to be up to snuff, I get it. But when I’m reading an article by someone that’s supposed to be in the know, and it just ends, I’m baffled. How did this get approved to be published? Is this becoming the standard, to list half-facts with no conclusions and leave the reader wondering? Or is it lowered standards with the push to generate more content, even if it’s half-assed? I just don’t get it.

So for those of you that read this (there’s oh so many of you), what things in news articles bug you? Is it a recent development, or something that’s been around for a long time?

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2 Responses to Journalism… you’re doing it wrong

  1. Just Passing says:

    They’re doing it right—at least according to journalistic tradition. The essential details are supposed to be in the first paragraph; if possible, the first sentence. Other important details follow; then less important background information. That way the reader can quit when she’s found as much as she wants to know.

    Read the Wikipedia article “Inverted pyramid” for further elaboration.

    For my own part, I wish I saw more news written like that. I can’t stand having to wade through half of someone’s life story before getting to whatever is supposed to be newsworthy about them.

    • thirster42 says:

      That’s not quite what i’m ranting about. I’m mostly ranting about half-information, or only half of a story, and the half they provided didn’t tell me anything.

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