Social Media

Columbia Journalism Review

Ben Adler

"All of this is especially true among young people. Whereas an older generation learned not to take the Enquirer seriously when they asked their mothers about it while buying groceries, or at least they picked up visual contextual clues—from its placement next to other impulse buys to its own font—today’s teenagers are more likely to stumble upon the story via social media than in a checkout line. Just like the print Enquirer headlines, Web headlines and teases are engineered to make readers click when encountered out of context in a Facebook feed or Twitter stream. “How much difference is there, after all, between the attention spans of consumers in a checkout line and consumers multitasking online?” muses Peter Adams, the News Literacy Project’s senior vice president for educational programs, via email. “One could argue that the tabloid (or perhaps yellow journalism in general) was the original clickbait.”"

Read the full article here (PDF here)