Headline and Preview — Evoking Interest or Encouraging Laziness?

Screenshot of a headline and preview at http://www.independent.co.uk

On the homepage of an online news magazine news are usually presented with a picture, a headline and a preview before you decide to read them. I often catch myself not clicking on the actual article but still having a feeling of contentment, of “having read the news” cause I read the preview. But this is not the purpose of previews, is it? Shouldn’t they evoke interest and make me read the entire work of someone? Of someone who put an effort into it and makes a living from it?

I’m not used to Medium yet but I reckon you saw the first couple lines as a preview. Given that you are reading this now, it seems to have evoked your interest and might serve as an argument in the discussion I hint at in the headline. But there are different kinds of previews. This one from Spiegel for example doesn’t give away all the information and doesn’t satisfy immediately, like the Trump preview (pictured above) does.

Screenshot fail

You’re probably wondering what the problems of the party are here (Spiegel), so it might be worth a click. The preview of the article at Independent kind of summarises what you need to know. So why bother reading the entire article? Again, what is the actual purpose of previews? Enabling people to be lazy and easily satisfied? Or evoking interest, in a clickbait-y way? Does not reading the entire article make you “fail” at reading the news? I’m not going to answer these questions. I never wanted to and I don’t have enough proof to do so anyways.

Now, just as Rolf Dobelli emphasises in his article we read in class about how bad news is, this blog entry is probably just a waste of your time, isn’t it? Did you learn anything useful? Not really. Could you have used the time you spent reading this to do something more important? Pretty sure.

I have never been really fond of blogging to be honest and I didn’t really want my first blog entry to turn into an accumulation of questions. Also, everything you read here was not written in order and over the course of a couple days, making it all a little bit confusing and pointless. The latter really representing my opinion on blogs (as of yet). But I guess this is how it turned out and since you have already come this far, feel free to answer one last question: Are you ever satisfied enough by a preview so that you “fail at reading the news” even though the topic of the article interests you?

And now that I have bored you to death, I recommend listening to blink-182’s first new song in years called “Bored to Death” tomorrow (April 28th) over at KROQ. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been to a party and didn’t sing along to some of their hits when they played and well, according to the news their new album is going to be good. EDIT: I’ve listened to it. It’s alright, nothing to be too excited about though.

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