Thursday, January 14, 2010

Huffington Post, misleading headline

Above, the main headline at the Huffington Post right now (where it appears at about twice the size). Reading it, you would click, without even thinking, anticipating the news of a catastrophic aftershock. And you would not find it. What you would find is a report on the earthquake’s aftermath.

The Huffington Post is notorious, in my house anyway, for its cynical efforts to increase page views. Click on a headline to read a story; get a page with that headline, no story; click again. It’s difficult to decide whether the above headline is a matter of an ill-considered metaphor or the work of the Department of Page Views. At any rate, it helps to explain why I’ve begun to get the news from the BBC.

[Ben, you were right.]

comments: 4

Daughter Number Three said...

If you haven't been reading HuffPo in the past few weeks, you might not have noticed that they left a photo/headline near the bottom of the home page for at least a week -- three times as long as any other story I can remember. What was the topic? The man with the world's largest penis lost his job.

Now there's some unbiased news judgment that has nothing to do with ad revenue.

Michael Leddy said...

Yes, I saw that headline. Classy stuff. So are you losing patience with the Huffington Post?

Ben said...

BBC: Bringer of high quality news, "The Office," and "Extras."

Daughter Number Three said...

I scan the Huffington Post to get a quick pulse-reading of a certain segment of the political spectrum. I probably only read 1 or 2 of their stories per day. The comments are generally pretty useless, although it's amusing to see which types of stories have the highest numbers of comments.

The editors' news judgment frequently causes me a large degree of confusion, juxtaposing stories on important topics alongside stuff that's clearly celebrity trash or plain old prurient interest.

It's a fine example of how advertising/revenue generation warps content.