Experienced reporter Steve Scoop has condemned the recent media craze for prefixing news headlines with an out-of-context and often barely relevant quote.
Scoop said that the practice added nothing to readers’ understanding and only served to create confusion, citing recent examples ‘Exercise Bike’: Armed Robbery At Newcastle Service Station; ‘Smoke’: Popular Water Park To Close; and ‘Prawn Tikka Masala’: Speculation Ronaldo May Retire.
“It’s just a way for lazy pseudojournalists to try to make inane stories appear relevant and interesting,” Scoop said. “Sometimes they don't even use a whole phrase, just a single word they think will get people's attention, like ‘war’ or ‘boobs’, without any context at all. Then they find some ridiculous way to shoehorn the word into the article."
Scoop, who once reported on a torpedo attack by a US submarine during the Gulf War, said he was concerned for the integrity of his profession.
“They're dumbing down journalism, and modern journalism is dumb enough already.”
Glasgow Bugle editor Hannah Hysteria defended the practice, saying it was a useful way for media outlets to generate interest in stories that are of no importance to anybody.
“Our reporters work very hard writing articles about disappointing airline food, the Sussexes and the latest bargains from Lidl.
We have an obligation to make sure people read their work, and if that means headlining an article about the prospects of a Norbit sequel with a quote about a nuclear meltdown, then so be it,” the editor said.
“Pineapple,” she added.