Blogs, Social Media, and the Death of the Newspaper Editorial

Blogs%2C+Social+Media%2C+and+the+Death+of+the+Newspaper+Editorial

Written by Justin Escobales

Editorial, as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as a noun is, “: a newspaper or magazine article that gives the opinions of the editors or publishers; also : an expression of opinion that resembles such an article.”

Editorials used to be featured in magazines and newspapers and would generally state not only the news, but also a person’s views on the topic. However, try searching for editorials in newspapers and magazines now.

Simply put, they don’t exist.

The reason? The creation of blogs and social media.

Blogs allow for a constant stream of what could be called editorials, but also a constant stream of what is just garbage. In fact, if we were to take a look at blogs versus newspaper editorials, we would notice a large gap in the average quality. Sure there are blogs that are intelligent and informative, but there aren’t a heck of a lot of them. Most of them are made by people who honestly don’t care about talking about news, views, or anything really interesting. In fact, the average blog is a public diary told in pictures and short, less than 100 character, posts.

Social media allows for a sharing ideas, but let’s be honest. Are you going to say that a Twitter or Facebook post is as informative as an article or interview in a newspaper or magazine? Facebook is mostly advertising and people are usually complaining (That’s right you teenage girls; we all notice and it is so very, very, annoying!) or posting pictures. Twitter has a setup that limits the amount of characters in each tweet, therefore people create posts that say maybe a short blurb and just barely fit a link to an article, which most people can’t be bothered to read anyway.

In short, our society created hang-ups that handicap our use of information-spreading resources, but to be honest, an editorial could go on a blog or even Facebook. Perhaps even Twitter could work, but it would be very hard. The problem is that the public has attention spans too short to actually read or create editorials. Most people watch the news for weather, and nobody reads the papers.

So what has this done to the news industry? Well, there has always been bias in news, but now news is more slanted than ever before. Don’t believe me? Watch the news on the television. You can get a view slanted towards republicans to an extreme, or to the democrats to an extreme.

That isn’t the end of it though, the quality of articles in newspapers has gone down completely, and the newspapers don’t generally cover tough subjects. They refuse to talk about anything that is really important, and if they do it becomes opinionated madness. Instead, we get a constant stream of nothing particularly interesting. Newspapers have become something akin to either sedating or enraging propaganda.

So what needs to be done? How can we fix this?

I think I have a solution.

I think that blog companies need to rework how things are done. Blogging should be reporting news or views on things and talking about it civilly over the internet. There isn’t really a point to having a blog to connect with your friends because Google+, Facebook, and Twitter all are blatantly designed for you to make content and connect with friends; therefore, there is no need to use a blog.

Also, we need to teach people to be respectful over the internet. Most people feel anonymous on the internet, but they aren’t even the thick of the problem. A lot of people who “troll” (internet slang for harass) people do it under a constant persona. They want to be recognized for annoying somebody. It’s similar to the (slightly mythical)  “middle child syndrome”, where they do anything for attention. Don’t believe me? Look at the comments on popular Youtube videos. They range from derogatory to downright abusive.

I think after these measures have been taken, and if they serve their intended purposes, then they would definitely create a society that would encourage the sharing of ideas and thought, not only through editorials, but through ways that would allow them to be matured ideas, rather than things that can barely be counted as ideas.

Writers Notes (basically another short essay)

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