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As someone who works in PR, I’d feel pretty confident in saying that the word “incredible” gets thrown around a lot in the UK press. Pretty much every new technology that comes out is declared as “innovative”, “groundbreaking”, or just plain “incredible” by the mainstream media (often pushed along by grubby PR people).
That said however, every now and again you come across an article which takes the redefinition of incredible to a whole new level. Last week that honour went to the Metro, which ran this:
So, just how incredible were these phallic formations? Well…
This is truly one of those moments when I despair for the future of journalism.
Being an advertising sponsored paper, the Metro has always leaned towards those quirky “human interest” stories that other papers would never even consider. Now though, as ever more news outlets switch to an advertising funded model, it appears that the Metro has been forced to up its game. With an increasing number of list articles and quirky picture stories, Metro.co.uk is starting to resemble unabashed click-hungry entertainment sites such as Buzzfeed.
This is the inevitable progression that results from the internet’s “free” content model. As print publications die off, all journalists must eventually realise that the best way to make money online is through advertising. The only problem is that the best way to encourage advertisers to invest in your site is by promising high click rates.
And do you know what drives high click rates?