Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Poor news writing red-flags credibility

Plagued with unpolished grammar skills and a tabloid penny press style of yore, many high profile news sources have lost their luster.

What happened to good writers and valid journalism?

For many people, their first brush with the day is a review of the morning news
"On an average day, 31.99 million American college graduates read newspaper content online or offline." ( Add to that the large majority who can read without college degrees, and it's obvious news is popular. (The article, "stigma of ignorance is rampant without higher education" is for another time.) 

Today’s plethora of print and online news sources however, are diluted with articles disguised as journalism. "News" is often culled from agencies that feature writers without credentials or real-world industry experience.

Infiltrating the ranks of established journalists are ill-equipped writers who rely more on opinions than facts, and eschew professional editing (or opt for none). Likewise, op-eds, obscure blogs, and personal essays, have moved from the back pages to become front page “news.”

Online news aggregates, citizen news sites, and lifestyle publications masquerading as news, are especially guilty of this, with skillful presentation, gaining high readership. Unfortunately, articles are often published without vetting to weed out marginal or even spurious writers. Though many production-article writers may be credible and experienced journalists, those who are not, further decay the industry.

How to spot the aggregates … I, we, you vs. he, she, it …