Journalism is becoming more shallow as time goes on.
The major Olympic headlines are all over the place, but most of them aren’t about the amazing feats of athleticism. That’s ironic, considering that athleticism is what the Olympics are supposed to be about. Instead, major news outlets are writing entire articles on Simone Biles’ “Brazilian Boyfriend” (who has a name, by the way — it’s gymnast Arthur Mariano), or the fact that Biles is a fan of Zac Efron. Or, they’re feeding the internet trolls by posting about Twitter wars that happened because Gabby Douglas didn’t put her hand over her heart during the American National Anthem.
Let’s face it: these aren’t real stories. The people who write these articles most likely know that, too. So, considering the idea that they are aware that these aren’t stories of substance, why are people making headlines about these things rather than on the actual Olympics?
Could it be that it’s for the clicks, the shares, and the views? Think about it: what would get more clicks? A story about swimmer Katie Ledecky beating yet another world record? Or an article about someone describing Ledecky as “the female Michael Phelps?” Unfortunately, the latter option often times gets the most retweets, shares, and Facebook posts. Instead of talking about how talented or hardworking Katie Ledecky is, people seem to be more interested in giving attention to the person who gave Ledecky the skin-deep comparison to Phelps. This is sad for a number of reasons… One of those reasons being that people who share those stories are only encouraging statements like this to continue. There’s a saying that any publicity is good publicity; and it’s very true. The more these shallow stories get attention, shares, views, and likes, the more these kinds of stories keep happening.
This type of journalism is negatively effecting the Olympics, as it does everything else. It is amazingly tiring to go through the headlines and see story after story about shallow drama between athletes, or another post about a random Twitter user being sexist or racist towards an athlete. It also, as mentioned before, only gives more reason for these people to make ignorant statements because they’re gaining attention from big media outlets. Unfortunately, these things are going to happen, and there’s nothing we can do about them, except to stop giving them the shallow attention they thrive for.
Sadly, as I write this, I come to the conclusion that these shallow stories are only going to continue, and there’s nothing I can do to stop it. The Huffington Post wrote an entire article on a selfie that gymnast Simone Biles and swimmer Simone Manuel took together. A selfie?!?!? How many shares did this get, you ask? 15,000 shares.
I’ve never lived in a time where news outlets only reported on actual news. I grew up hearing controversies about relationship drama between Disney Channel co-stars and it’s only gotten worse as time’s gone on.