SEO and Journalism: “Online POKER marketing could spell the NAKED end of VIAGRA journalism as we LOHAN know it”

I wanted to highlight an excellent article by Charlie Brooker about the impact of SEO requirements and the pressures of web-traffic-oriented journalism on the quality of news.

The article sets out to demonstrate its premise with the first paragraph and then explains it:

“Miley Cyrus, Angelina, Israel vs Palestine, iPhone, 9/11 conspiracy, Facebook, MySpace, and Britney Spears nude. And not forgetting Second Life, Paris Hilton, YouTube, Lindsay Lohan, World of Warcraft, The Dark Knight, Radiohead and Barack Obama. Oh, and great big naked tits. In 3D.

Let me explain. Last week, I wrote a piece on 9/11 conspiracy theories which virtually broke the Guardian website as thousands of “truthers” (painfully earnest online types who sincerely believe 9/11 was an inside job) poured through the walls to unfurl their two pence worth. Some outlined alternative “theories”. Some mistakenly equated dismissing the conspiracy theories with endorsing the Bush administration. Some simply wailed, occasionally in CAPITALS. Others, correctly, identified me as a paid-off establishment shill acting under instructions from the CIA.”

And its conclusion:

“…your modern journalist is expected not only to shoehorn all manner of hot phraseology into their copy, but to try and position it all in precisely the right place. That’s an alarming quantity of unnecessary shit to hold in your head while trying to write a piece about the unions. Sorry, SEXUAL unions. Mainly, though, it’s just plain undignified: turning the journalist into the equivalent of a reality TV wannabe who turns up to the auditions in a gaudy fluorescent thong in a desperate bid to be noticed.”

The full article can be found here.

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