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Five ways to stop churnalism

by on 5 Apr, 2013

Let’s try again to get rid of “churnalism”: the rewriting of press releases masquerading as news.

Here’s my five ways to do it:

1    Look for patterns in the news flow.  A company launches a product: who has launched a product like this recently?  So instead of the intro being “So-and-so   launched a new gizmo this month…” it becomes “So-and-so is the third vendor into the gizmo market…”

2     Get your own quote from some authority and put that high up in the story.  “So-and-so’s launch of its new gizmo this month was met with disbelief by experts…”

3     Look for what’s missing.  “So-and-so’s new gizmo launched this month lacks the power of…”

4     Give the story forward spin by getting experts to predict what will happen next rather than what has just happened.  “The gizmo market will attract more competition now that So-and-so has launched its product this month, says…”

5     Use the social media contributions by users as part of your news: what is the most read online story; what is the best comment or tweet etc.

Yes, all of these take a bit more time.  But the quality is better.  And the morale of the writers is better.  Oh, and the readers are served better as well.

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