Online news outlets are a dying breed and many users have decided to consume information elsewhere. Why? Because the news industry has become a cesspool of anti-consumer and blackhat practices that has eroded trust for the sake of money.
What news sites get wrong
I could write up an entire essay about all the shady practices that most news sites are guilty of, but here are just a few top level issues:
- Clickbait headings with misleading information
- Disabling the user from reading if ad-block is present
- Tracking the user with 3rd party scripts
- Pop-up ads
- Fixed headers or footers which leads to harder readability / accidental element interactions
But they need ad revenue!
If your business is solely dependent on tracking scripts, tricking users with clickbait titles and using archaic ads - then you’re destined to fail regardless. These practices create an unsafe and unhealthy web for everyday users - not to mention most browsers have announced that future updates will be blocking ads by default. News outlets need to adapt or die.
What’s the solution?
I don’t have a fix all band-aid to replace current revenue streams for news websites. I’m sure someone much smarter than I can come up with better ideas, but just off the top of my head:
- Switch over to a monthly subscription plan (if no one pays for it maybe you weren’t as useful of a source as you thought)
- Partner with brands to create sponsored articles (without ruining the user experience of course)
- Place a larger emphasis on user donations or promotions
The News Shouldn’t be Spam
Most traffic flowing into news websites are there for one thing: the content. News outlets should not be spamming their main revenue supply (the users) or misleading people with false information.
If you’re a regular consumer of news and you happen to run across a platform that is guilty of any of these practices, shoot them an email explaining why you won’t be returning to their website (unless they change their ways). These anti-consumer practices will only stop when these organizations start losing money.
Leave a comment
To make a comment, please send an e-mail using the button below. Your e-mail address won't be shared and will be deleted from my records after the comment is published. If you don't want your real name to be credited alongside your comment, please specify the name you would like to use. If you would like your name to link to a specific URL, please share that as well. Thank you.
Comment via email