Is The News Becoming Too Interactive?

Posted by: Lauren Manecke

Wondering if the news is becoming too interactive may seem like an odd thought, but think about where you get your news on a daily basis. Do you see an article on Facebook and click to check out the link, or do you read the comments first and grasp the concept of the news from there? When scrolling through your Twitter feed, do you click the actual article or do you just look at the heading and responses?

With the world becoming more technologically advanced, news sources are taking to popular social media sites to get their information out there first. Although this is a good strategy and handy for those constantly on the go, news is easily twisted through reader’s responses. With the click of the “comment” button, anything can be posted. I believe this not only contorts the story, but it also sparks instant controversy, which can lead to other irrelevant discussions.

The recent Miss America pageant caused just that. On Sunday night, Kira Kazantsev was crowned Miss America, but shortly after her crowning, the internet started blowing up with articles bashing her talent act. The free reign of people being able to post whatever they want on the internet turned the focus from her winning the crown to making fun of her talent.

IJReview posted an article titled, “Newly Crowned Miss America Goes On Defense After Her Talent Gets Bashed On Social Media” by Caroline Schaeffer. The article talked about the criticism Kazantsev recieved, but ultimately why she was crowned the winner. Like most news sites, comments are posted at the bottom. The discussion automatically got flipped from the pageant to Obama.

Comments on the article titled, "Newly Crowned Miss America Goes On Defense After Her Talent Gets Bashed On Social Media” from the IJReview website

Comments on the article titled, “Newly Crowned Miss America Goes On Defense After Her Talent Gets Bashed On Social Media” from the IJReview website

I believe that people feel as though since they have free will to talk about whatever they want, sometimes even anonymously, people post before they think things through. The Today Show, a prominent news source, encourages it and has a segment called “The Orange Room”. It is solely based on viewers opinions where they are encouraged to interact through social media sites. With the hashtag of #orangeroom, viewers can tweet about the show or respond to the news.

This leaves the question of where does the news story end. Are you going to take away the actual story or are you going to be more focused on the Twitter and Facebook responses and get your information from there?

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9 responses to “Is The News Becoming Too Interactive?

  1. I can totally see what you are saying here. The people are becoming too involved with news articles and flipping the focus from something positive to something negative. They nit-pick the stories and articles, not focusing on all of the good things, but focusing all they have on the bad. We are too obsessed with fixing others work and being critical that we completely dismiss why the story was written in the first place. I think there needs to be websites dedicated to strictly news, and the facts. And then a place for our opinions. I know from experience how much harm comments on a news article can harm. I have experienced it first hand. You put your thoughts out there, and your work and all you receive is negative feedback. News websites need to stop giving readers free reign to say whatever we please. There needs to be a filter between the facts and the opinions.

  2. I think is a valuable argument, but it’s not a topic I’ve ever thought of. I’ll be honest, I am a lazy reader. And if someone isn’t intriguing me within the first few seconds, I barely can finish the article, let alone scroll down to read the comments.

    With that being said, I do think that people utilize comments in a negative sense sometimes. Some people like to hear their own voice (or read it), and have an urge to post constantly. Sometimes these arguments detract from the article itself, which is a shame.

    I, however, stick to the articles and not the comments section.

  3. I totally know and noticed exactly what you are talking about. The amount rude comments people leave on the internet is appalling! What worries we the most is that these people don’t see the rudeness and negativity they create.

    Off that, personally I don’t look at the comments to understand the story because I know how often stupid people comment on them. But I know that there are some people out there who look at those comments and then judge that story based upon them. I have no clue how to resolve this but we absolutely need, especially as technology continues to grow.

    (sorry if I offended anyone by saying “stupid people”, this topic just make me mad)

  4. I’ve noticed this when scrolling through articles I read all the time. It’s annoying to see not only the way people stray off topic, but also the way people turn a positive article into something really negative. I tend to try to avoid the comments because it is such a harsh place.

    I think freedom of speech is important, and if this is the way that people like to vent, then I guess the comments section can be an outlet. I just don’t think it’s appropriate when the comment isn’t relevant to the topic at hand. However, I don’t think there is much we can do about these comments except by disabling them on articles.

  5. I think this is a really interesting topic, but I also think it depends on how interested you are in actually getting the information. The comments might be a great place to scan, but if you actually care about what you’re reading, I don’t think the comments are going to deter you from reading something or change your opinion if you feel strongly enough about something. I do think its unfortunate that good articles can be affected by negative comments and that these comments can get so off topic and disrupt the reader’s consumption of the news, but I agree with Maggie that we have to consider the right to freedom of speech and if the comments are distracting, they should be turned off or at the very least, ignored.

  6. This was such a cool post to read. I, like Courtney, never read the comments on articles that pop up in my newsfeed. I had no idea this was an issue, but I can absolutely see how big of a problem this could become. The Kansas City Star recently ran an OP/ED about a similar issue: The writer argued that people choose to skim headlines for news, as opposed to delving into the entire article. Now, I’m wondering what can be done to change or fix this. Everyone has the right to freedom of speech, and there’s not much that can be done to moderate social media comments for accuracy or validity.

  7. I think the news is becoming a little too interactive, yet I think that can also be a good thing. It’s interesting to see people’s perspectives on the same topic; some people may agree with the majority of the topic, yet may disagree on some smaller points.

    It also encourages people (for better or for worse) to become involved with what’s going on in the world. However, it is important to read the article as a whole before commenting. I’ve seen someone become really upset over an article that praised a movie, yet the weekly article title was misleading. This person didn’t read the whole article and posted a scathing comment.

  8. I see interactiveness in the news as a double-edged sword. While it’s great for boosting engagement, I think people too often get caught up in what is posted in the comments rather than the actual news itself. Very seldom are these comments relevant or accurate. Because of this, I think the news gets diluted a little bit in terms of what sort of content some businesses or organizations post. Irrelevant news seems to become more and more prevalent online because they’re the stories that get the most people talking.

  9. Interactiveness in the news certainly has its pros and cons. It’s easy for people to hide behind a computer screen and bash the article, its writer and others who are posting comments. Often times these kind of negative posts are irrelevant or inaccurate and some people actually post comments just to get a rise out of others. While these posters can ruin a thread for people, it’s important to note all the people who are actively engaging in positive and respectful commentary on the news. While I hate the way some people act online, I appreciate seeing people take an interest in a story and others opinions of it.

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