Are not we all a bit ... journalist !?
The importance of journalism has remained the same from the beginning; but the way of doing journalistic work has changed drastically. Here, too, digitization is making itself felt. Years ago, meticulous attention was paid to writing style and social standards, today the work seems somehow to be “freer”.
With the pencil in his hand and the camera around his neck, the rapporteurs threw themselves into the flood of events to bring us a little closer to the world. The lyrics and TV news sounded ghetto-perfect and high-pitched. Of course, the media was limited to newspapers, TV and radio. The reader, viewer and listener was unapproachable, the instruments clearly structured and the procedures retracted. Editorial tasks are an integral part of journalism, and here, too, the writer goes hand in hand with the Zeitgeist.
The liaison of zeitgeist and editor
Then came the “new territory” of the Internet. Suddenly deadlocked structures became flexible possibilities; cross-media channels that had to be served. On the computer, on mobile devices, video channels such as YouTube or social media platforms such as Facebook. News, Article, Posts, so-called posts, and much more.
The writing pad was yesterday - well, not quite - and the smartphone became a Swiss Army knife for journalists. Videos, photos, voice recordings, bundled in a friendly pocket format. The “upload” determines the topicality and the range through clicks the success. Those who are not familiar with Meerkat, Twitter and Memes will have a hard time these days. Podcasts and Twitch unused? "Which generation do you belong to, please ?!"
Outcry for quality
Journalism has adapted to fast-paced society. Inevitably, this development led to the point where quantity missed quality. Unfortunately, that was exactly the time when I decided to pursue my passion as an editor professionally. “Editor? They are now like sand by the sea! ” Right. The time couldn't have been stupid for me.
But there was also a positive aspect. The fact that everyone could now be an editor, writer, author, or other writer in some way promoted the phenomenon of selection. Natural selection in virtual reality - paradoxical. Nobody just wanted to read “anything” anymore. The outcry for quality grew louder again.
One concentrates diligently on the so-called tendrils at Google by creating SEO-optimized texts, but please again sensibly and without alphabet soup, and an unpleasant abundance of nonsense. Recently, a valued colleague from my circles was rewarded with a critical comment because of his preference for “free writing” and linguistic flexibility, coupled with a touch of satire. It was a pain to read his texts and corresponded to the pure, commercial zeitgeist, nothing more.
The flavors are different
Of course, tastes are different. This also applies to all existing articles: it is well received by 150.000 readers, but not by one. Where wood is chopped, splinters must fall. And as we know, we live in a country of freedom of expression. Without this critical comment, I would never have decided to write this column. But is writing after the “pure zeitgeist” so wrong? We have an “interesting” topic (since interesting is a relative term, I justify myself briefly here to counter any considerations as to who is interested in what and who is not), a grammatically correct, lively text with top-class synonyms for worn out 08/15 words and even a little personal charm that seems to reveal something about the author. I am of the opinion:
Society wants to feel what we are experiencing. She wants to smile when we write humorous texts and are adequately and honestly informed when something serious happens. Above all, the texts can now be made linguistically more flexible. That doesn't necessarily mean “colloquial”, without grammatical structures, but definitely “more lively”. Why? Because it creates closeness to the reader. Not artificial, but honest. It's more fun to read something that I can relate to. If I am interested in the current share prices or if I follow the real estate market, I am aware that I will learn factually presented facts. But even here it shouldn't bother anyone today to get a lively report on current facts.
The content and its marketing
What should an editor be in the 21st century? Certainly the ability to write, no doubt. He is also allowed to bring a certain level of professionalism with him. At least he should know what he's doing. Otherwise, the reader places a lot of value on authenticity. Maybe he also wants to feel the passion for writing. That's exactly what I want to achieve as an editor; that my articles are “well received”. I want to be able to pay my rent with the satisfaction of the readers. That's what I'm doing the whole thing for.
Good content is so important these days that it can already replace classic online advertising in some places. Text replaces flashing, pop-up advertising banners with annoying music that are placed for horrendous sums. The user wants to be kept in a good mood. What good is a lettering that can be closed with a cross-click within a few seconds. Content seems to play an increasing role. It's time to market it. But that has to work, just like everything else. The advantage: Good content doesn't just pop up, it tells a story, it is more durable. If you combine the written part with a not insignificant component in today's world, you are on the right track. This component scolds itself “visualization”.
Eye-catcher and quality content
The perfect eye-catcher for quality content: The photo as a hanger. Of course there is more to it than just a simple contribution. It may be target-oriented. He must be well written. And if we already feel at the cutting edge of time, it would also be great if the contribution achieved a good placement.
Compressed nonsense is unfortunately not yet a thing of the past, and commercial mainstream headlines in H1 format still attract readers, such as “The 10 best…”, “5 reasons why…” and the overkill “You will don't believe what ... ”. Unfortunately, they all often have one thing in common: they hardly keep what they promise. I'm getting tired of such headlines, which doesn't necessarily mean the posts are badly written, but content marketing works better on some levels than on others. For me, these content brands are similar to pop-up advertising banners; I don't even click on it anymore.
The optics do it
Why can content marketing hold its own against the desire for visualization at all? Everything seems to revolve around the perfect picture. With the generation of readers it is similar to the everyday life: the first impression counts. This is definitely the picture for us in digital marketing. If the visual aspect is skilfully set, the first click on the article is saved. The introduction, however, should make it clear where the picture stops: to maintain the interest that has been aroused. In the ideal case the article is read to the end. Perfectionism is when the reader can finally be satisfied by the Eye-catcher, the content of the article up to the last line and ... return. Only because articles in the language may now be more flexible, it does not mean that there are no high expectations to be met. A free writing does not contain a good content.
The situation is similar with this opinion. Freely lined up thoughts with content-interesting approaches that seem to entice you to read on, but do not yet constitute a quality article. How quality is defined, however, remains to be seen. In addition, I have put a lot of effort into not completely scattering my “linguistic flexibility” on the screen - after all, we are here on a serious blog with quality contributions and not at the poetry slam in a dingy Berlin club.
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