Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Yahoo! News: News for Illiterates by Illiterates

SAN FRANCISCO - OCTOBER 21:  Cars drive by a Y...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
I like Yahoo! They have a lot going for them. But the truth is that Yahoo! Canada has a news section that, to me, defines the worst of journalism. Frequently exploitational, usually misleading, often exhibiting a true cluelessness, Yahoo! Canada News leaves me with the impression that it's written and compiled by people who (a) have no journalistic experience or training whatsoever and (b) don't really follow the news.

Case in point: today, the headlines posted from the main portal page include this sentence: "Ignatieff and Layton scoff at coalition rumours". The average punter, curious about the idea of the two main national opposition parties working together to overthrow the party in only semi-legitimate power at the moment, upon clicking on the link, is presented with a news article headlined, "Ignatieff, Layton scoff at merger rumours". An article discussing the party leaders' reaction to the silly rumour that the two very different parties were going to disband and form one united party, similar to what the party in power did a few years back.

It's either intentionally misleading or entirely ignorant of the massive difference between 'coalition' and 'merger': I'm not sure which one is more damning to Yahoo! the budding news media outlet. Either way, it's pretty horrible, and it has nothing to do with the vaunted industry called 'news'.
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