The News World In A Ratings Universe

The decline and fall of TV news and its values

Online and digital content has dramatically changed the way we do everything as you undoubtedly, are already aware. As the way information is transmitted and shared online is changing, so are the tactics used to ensure your attention is acquired.

Now I understand that as more of the public absorbs their news from online sources, news outlets need to adapt and change to ensure they don’t lose (too much of) their market share.

A problem arises, however when these practices are taken over the top or to the extreme, which unfortunately, is what we are seeing in today’s television news outlets. It is ridiculous when 60-70% of every news headline you see is the exact equivalent of the pointless, nagging, endless ‘click-bait‘ headlines you see on websites grabbing for any advertising revenue they can lay their hands on.

We have given it the name ‘attention bait‘ – and that is exactly what they’re doing.

People are not going to stop receiving news from traditional means such as television – at least not for a long time. But as CEO’s and shareholders watch (excuse the pun) ratings fall to newer sources of media (I.E Internet) they are in a scramble to grab on to who they can, when they can.

Want an example?

Since the racist fraternity scandal, there has been at least 5 sudden additional stories that I have personally witnessed (not intentionally – I was at the gym- I don’t get my news from TV). 5 other minor & not-so minor stories about university related incidents. Do you think these all of the sudden started happening? Did (insert major network here) just discover about these injustices?


They know that wherever they can throw in that includes such ‘Keywords” such as university, fraternity, student or school, they will attract an audience because it is in the forefront of a lot of people’s minds.

Want another one?

After the Ferguson Missouri shooting do you think all the sudden other injustices regarding police just start happening out of nowhere?


It was/is the “hot” or “talked about” subject and outlets were going to capitalize everywhere they could. Is it good that these stories are seeing the light of day? Absolutely, but it is certainly not because of the good conscious of the news media.

Still not convinced?

Are you still not convinced that actual TV news uses click-bait style headlines to lure or catch the eye of potential viewers? Look at their websites! Major news outlets are some of the worst violators of click-bait junk. One of them, which starts with a letter close to the beginning of the alphabet and ends with 2 “N”s


Right above a large picture of something to surely either move or horrify a potential click-victim.

Just because a few media outlets do this doesn’t mean the story isn’t valid but the means to reach the end is so blatantly predatory it’s annoying.

The use of aggressive keywords to grab attention or incite emotion

Here’s another issue. Every time someone or something is spoken about (usually negatively) the headline will read “The war on (insert)” or “(so and so) under-fire.”

Really? Using words such as war, under-fire, attacked and endless reiterations and reincarnations of like terms helps no one. These things are not used in effort to describe a situation to us, they’re for you to ensure as many people as possible don’t click away in the next 30 seconds.

The vague or ridiculous headlines

Vague headlines annoy me worse than anything – it is purposeful baiting and it drives me up a wall. If your story is so important and you want people to read it, take it for what it is and not ruin your credibility as a service than don’t purposefully bait. It is absolutely asinine.

The following is seriously a headline that I saw a few weeks ago and the same headline is currently being displayed by fox news.

Rare Doomed Planet with Extreme Seasons Discovered

WOW, if that isn’t the most gratuitous use of over-hyped, over-speculative, attention grabbing headlines. If you want attention so much, get a tattoo or grow long hair. Remember corporations are people, so technically Fox can do it. For the record, I never clicked on it. The headline failed.

And to continue this rant, here’s another thing

If something is such breaking news ( How is it breaking if it happened 2 days ago and the situation is over) or is so important we NEED to stay tuned, then don’t say “when we come back” and cut to 9 minutes of commercials. Some stations will do anything to ensure you don’t click away for 9 minutes. They’ll dangle that cheese right in front of you and I for as long as they can to ensure they get the most ad revenues as possible.

It’s not just TV

When you strip away the ridiculous click bait that, in my eyes, renders any website spouting it next to useless. The ‘Top 10s’ should go too – and they are, eventually on their way out.

There are some perfectly valid top 10 lists and some are incredibly useful. But you know the ones I’m talking about, those ones at the end of a page or in the sidebar. The one’s about aging, fertility or muscle building – More topical trigger words!

To Obtain the Best Viewing Experience, Please Disable Ad-Block

Oh yeah sure let me get right on that! While I’m at it would you like all the money in my bank account?

We are in a state of flux for news, the market is evolving and changing and as it does, tactics will be tried and schemes will be devised and what gives me hope is that it won’t be like this for long – it can’t be. Online users begin to notice the tricks of the trade and avoid them. That is the great thing about the internet, it is built for our use and not someone else’s (though sometimes it is) profit. If you provide a proper, concise, effective delivery system, people are happy to use it and give patronage to your service. Try and scheme, weasel, deceive, prey or stalk and you will become a heap of HTML on the ash heap of the internet along with AOL disks and internet explorer.

*Steps off of soapbox.

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Employment Contracts

When you start working for someone, be it an individual or a company, you automatically enter into an employment contract. As an employee, it is essential you are familiar with the terms and conditions you have agreed to, and what implications these have. If you do then encounter a dispute with your employer, you can be confident of your legal position.What is an Employment Contract?A contract of employment is an agreement between an employer and employee. This may either be a written, verbal or an implied understanding. Either way, the contract is intended to set out the particular terms of the rights, responsibilities and duties of both employer and employee.You enter into a contract as soon as commence work. The very fact you have started your job is enough to indicate that you agree with the terms of employment, even if you are not certain what these are. For the sake of clarity, it is a good idea to request a copy of your contract in writing – something you are entitled to within two months of being employed. Should you later face a dispute with your employer, your written contract could prove very useful.You are then bound to your employment contract until it comes to and end, either because you have been given notice, or because you and your employer have agreed to change the terms.Terms of an Employment Contract.The terms of an employment contract will differ in every case, and will be particularly dependent on whether you are working under a fixed term contract, part-time contract, in continuous employment or have flexible hours. However, if you do request a written document of your contract – known as a ‘principal statement’ – then this should at the very least contain:-* The legal name of both employer and employee;* The employee’s job title, with a brief description of duties;* The date employment commenced;* Details of pay, how this has been calculated and when it is to be paid;* Any entitlements – such as holiday leave and sick pay;* The address of the place of work.Contractual Disagreements.Should you face any contractual disagreements with your employer – for example, because your employer has failed to comply with the terms of the contract – then you should begin by trying to settle the matter internally. Speak to your employer and attempt to discuss your grievance. It may be that it was a simple misunderstanding, and the issue can be easily rectified. If you feel nervous doing so, you may want to seek support from a trade union representative first.If you are unable to resolve the disagreement between you, the next step is to contact Acas – the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service. They will assist you with dispute resolution, often successfully helping conciliation.However, should this fail, you may then want to consider taking your grievance to an Employment Tribunal. Before you do so, it is important to obtain legal assistance.Seek Legal Advice.If you have any queries regarding an employment contract, speak to solicitor who specialises in employment law. They will be able discuss the terms of your employment contract with you, advising you on both yours and your employer’s legal responsibilities, and whether or not these have been breached.

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Seniors Beware, Health and Fitness Equals Great Sex

Having a great sex life by adults over 60 is largely dependent on health and lifestyle. Their children and grandchildren are having a hard time getting used to the facts of life, that their aging parents or grandparents might still be enjoying sex. The baby boomers that are actually the original ‘flower children’ started the sexual revolution over 40 years ago. For a lot of them who are over 60, the revolution is still goin’ strong ‘though it is an undeniable fact more than a few of them are experiencing problems in getting the va-va-vroom back in the old engine.Sexual arousal doesn’t die when a person gets older. Aging is simply a period in life. It does not mean that a person becomes physically or sexually unappealing nor does it mean you become less interested in sex as you age.According to a recent study, the number of seniors in their 70′s who are sexually active – and are bragging about it being great sex – is increasing. Also, older women are indicating being satisfied with their sex lives. There’s an increase in the number of these women who are reporting having an orgasm during sex and a decrease in the number who report not having an orgasm. There also is a general increase in the number of women who are reporting high sexual satisfaction. Though not as many women are reporting low satisfaction with their sex lives, it is a different situation for men – there has been an increase in the number of men who are reporting not being satisfied. Probably, this is due to the new idea of men accepting responsibility for sexual failure instead of blaming the opposite sex, according to the authors.The coverage by the media of retired baby-boomers and their older cousins paint a picture of seniors that are a homogeneous group who jump into bed and ‘hook-up’ with great abandon. Sex is now a Fountain of Youth. In fact, the diversity in sexual interest and activity in the over 65 crowds is as diverse as the individuals who are part of that group. It is evident that the later years can be a time of relief since there are no children hiding in nearby bedrooms, and you don’t have to worry about jumping up early in the A.M. to head for work. For many of us, this is a time we are free to explore sexual expression in ways never before realized. A time to cast away the societal expectations of earlier years. For others, they no longer worry about sexual performance, and seek other forms of companionship and sharing.Regarding health, one fascinating recent study found that older men having more than two orgasms per week have a lower mortality rate. Of course, these numbers demonstrate a correlation between sex and longevity; the numbers do not show that sex prolongs life. More than likely, the answer is that older people who are well enough to engage in sexual activity are more than likely also healthier in general. But I believe that sexual activity can be and is physically, intellectually, and even spiritually fulfilling. Also, it’s considered a good form of exercise, and it can stimulate the brain and promote good mental function.Today’s older adults are active, on the go and still doing many of the things they enjoyed in their younger years, a healthy sexual relationship can positively affect all aspects of your life, including your physical health and self-esteem.You might get the idea from movies and TV that sex is only for younger adults, but that’s not true. Man’s need for intimacy is ageless. Humans never outgrow the need for affection, emotional closeness and intimate love and they never will. People still have their sexual fantasies and desires into their 80s and 90s.It’s true that sex in the 70′s and 80′s is not the same as in the 20s, but it can be as fulfilling and as enjoyable. Understanding the changes your bodies are going through will help you prepare for the challenges you’ll face. These changes can affect sexual relationships. The physical changes are the most often discussed, but psychological issues must also be considered. Testosterone regulates the sex drive in both men and women. The good news is, most aging men and women produce the testosterone levels required to maintain their interest in sex. Some changes that occur in your body may make some aspects of sex more difficult; with these changes you will have a reason to try new positions and techniques.Here’s news you can use! A study at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor has found that caffeine may hold the secret to a better sex life for seniors. They found that among married men, 59% that didn’t drink coffee had trouble getting it up when needed while only 36% of the same group who did drink coffee reported similar problems. Of course, this correlation between coffee and sex might just be a statistic. The group that chooses to drink coffee might just be healthier overall.It is a known fact, better health translates into better sex lives, healthy people are more likely to engage in sex and not just sex, but good sex, and to actually express an interest in more sex. So, lets make sure we do all we can to live healthy and enjoy our later years fully.

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