Ironically, after Iralie’s discussion about how we should not define culture by what it isn’t, I have decided to critique writers, bloggers and journalists about subjects they really shouldn’t be writing about. Bare with me on this one.
Freedom of information is great. It is important to be kept up to date with the goings on across the world. However, any reader should be aware that the information in the press, the media and online is falsely saturated. Accessible content is controlled by a single objective; profit. Because of this, the quality of content and news is poor.
I have begun working as a freelance writer and already I am disheartened by how the writing industry works. Part of what I can’t stand is the click bait trend that has stuck into the media culture. Titles such as ‘You’d never guess what she did next’ or ‘5 Best Celebrity Pranks’ are SEO rich garbage, designed to trick search engines such as Google and Bing that their website is better than it is, so other businesses will pay for a link to their website. Generally, you’ll always feel disappointed after clicking the link.
But the real problem is when content provides purposefully shocking headlines for you to interact with. They will follow the tracks of American extremist politicians and export their every word onto a fresh new page. Even though they may not support their views – This is free advertising for the politicians. Their message is being amplified and is now seen as an actual potential candidate. It’s terrifying.
Making Money through Ethical Writing
I encourage all writers, bloggers and journalists to consider writing ethically. Your writing is a powerful medium which can effect how others think and their consequential actions. With great power, comes great responsibility.
Many of us go into the sphere of writing to make some kind of living. This is reasonable. Supposedly more responsible websites such as Huffington Post don’t even pay writers, this doesn’t help the situation. It is up to you to chose how you will write more ethically. Perhaps you could sneak in a comment or two in your article that shows your true opinion, perhaps you could start aiming more ethical pitches to broadsheets and the tabloids. Maybe you could start a blog about what you really think and announce if a guest post is sponsored or not?
For the strongest effect, consider what kind of response you want from your audience. Consider what kind of people read the particular articles on the website, magazine or newspaper. This is what it means to write ethically.