Oh my God the amount of times I’ve read a Unilad Article based off a Reddit story and in the comments, I see “Her’s* bad journalism!”, “the dog’s*, Typical Unilad Journalism” and even more often than others, complaints about the content being incorrect or disproven.
Guys, let me give this to you straight. Blogging isn’t fucking journalism. It’s disrespectful and demeaning to people who got into writing for the right reason and now just because these blogs have professionally looking sites you can group them into the same boat as these shitty bloggers writing sensationalist pieces for the sake of clickbait with absolutely zero substance. It’s like putting mustard in between two bread slices and eating it thinking “Hmm this is a really great burger”. It’s not a burger! And don’t complain when it doesn’t taste like a burger!
Literally, anyone can start a blog – you are devaluing years and years of studying to a site created in WordPress (which can be quite literally done in under two hours).
Take a look at the likes of Al Jazeera or The Atlantic or dare I even say CNN. People study for years make to it into a credible institution and thus have the full academic standpoint to say what they need to say, to contest problems with people’s opinions, ideologies, religious standpoints. These people are Journalist’s not Jeff blogging about how a teenager MIGHT have had sex with his teacher according to a thread.
You could say “Sure sure, tabloids have been doing the same thing for years.” Yes, yes they have… BUT THEY ARE ACKNOWLEDGED AS TABLOIDS NOT NEWS! FUCK SAKES.
So how did we get here, how did we get to the point of blogs being seen as credible and as legitimate sources of ‘news’. Well, In 2nd year at university I did a very short study on the credibility of news sources. I showed people articles from the Onion and asked them questions regarding the content I thought people would dismiss the absurd over the top articles by The Onion (which has been around for years might I add) but they didn’t – why? Because shit looked legit! I believe that this is one of the problems people face when reading a blogged ‘article’.
Secondly, and this is what I find the most frightening because it’s the most popular: Blogs reporting on news as a proper institution. Buzzfeed, Elitedaily, and in some contexts, Huffington Post. Why is it such a problem for me? Because they are literally force feeding ‘news’ in this wave of content created by these guys that you have already liked and reposted. You already like their video content, funny lists and reported cat videos, you are more accustomed to taking in their opinions on more serious issues like politics and laws. Personally, I believe cat videos and news don’t belong together in the same stream.