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May 13, 2014

Voxdotcom: Just Like Buzzfeed, But With More Explanatory Journalism

Ah, Vox.

Andrew Stiles note that after all the hoopla about Vox.com changing the way we look at news forever, they're basically just doing the same silly crap Buzzfeed does.

For example:

This is just the Huffington Post without the sideboob.

A writer at Forbes makes more or less the same point today, noting that the World's Premiere "Explanatory Journalism" Website is doing an awful lot of tabloid linkbait.

Here are some actual articles (well, their headlines), and the Explanatory Journalism content, as digested by Forbes:

Who Is Solange? And Why Is She Attacking Jay Z?

This is an article that Vox published today. Lots of journalists are making fun of it on the internet publishing service Twitter. But the style of the article makes it clear the writer is “in on the joke,” the joke being that this article isn’t really for people who want to know who Solange is, or whether Jay Z (or Jay-Z) is in danger, but just an excuse to post a video that is going viral. “Going viral” means lots of people are talking about it and posting links to it on social networks. Even if the video weren’t already going viral, the editors at Vox know it probably would because the video features the sister and husband of singer Beyonce Knowles, who is even more famous on the internet than she is in real life.

Time Named 100 Influential People, But Beyonce Is Number 1

This is another article Vox published that tangentially involves Beyonce Knowles. In this case there is no real need for explanatory journalism, as the only news is that a magazine put Beyonce on its cover, so most of the article is about how another singer that Beyonce used to sing with isn’t as famous. (Confused by that last sentence? Maybe we should have explained that, while news sites usually refer to people by only their last names after the first mention, Beyonce is one of a small number of celebrities known almost exclusively by her first name.)

Jay-Z Called Lacrosse “Soft.” The Research Literature Disagrees

Jay-Z (or Jay Z) is a rapper who’s married to Beyonce. Are you seeing a pattern here? While quite famous in his own right, without his wife, he would probably not be quite famous enough that anything he says or does could be an excuse for explanatory journalism — in this case, an article about the physical demands of lacrosse.

The Economics Behind Avril Lavigne’s Creepy “Hello, Kitty” Video

Not all explanatory journalism is about people related to Beyonce. The headline above is for an article about Avril Lavigne, a different singer. It explains that globalization is responsible for offensive cultural stereotypes in Lavigne’s new music video because without globalization, people wouldn’t know enough about other countries to stereotype them. Lavigne is not a singer known primarily by her first name.


Smart takes for stupid people.

BTW: Here's an Explanatory Journalism piece on Solange beating up Jay-Z.

See, she beat him up.

digg this
posted by Ace at 06:27 PM

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