Are Yahoo! Writers Real Writers or Middle School Students Paid in Trident Layers?

For the longest time, which isn’t that long since it constitutes maybe two years, I have been receiving a bulk of my news from the Yahoo! website. Today, I decided to take a step back and wonder why. Well, the titles are often promising, even if the articles don’t pull through. And they have that nifty scroll bar so you can read the headlines very quickly. But the more I read Yahoo!, the more angry I get at the poor quality of journalism shown by its writers.

There are some staff writers who write news, which is hardly ever news. The latest breaking news story is about Ashton Kutcher singing country. The rest of their content, they take from various blogs which contribute to Yahoo! But the writers are unprofessional, not at all meticulous enough to catch spelling mistakes, and down-right petty.

Take a gander at this article about technology, about what gadgets “turn women off.”  Okay, I understand the basic concept. If you wear

a blue tooth in your ear, women will steer clear of you because you seem too high-tech.

But then the writer also prattles on about how important brands are, how if you’re not carrying an Apple IPhone, no one is going to talk to you. Now I’m starting the see the trend. These writers are petty eighth graders paid to worship brands, restaurants, and politicians while dissing on others in the judgement of the head editor. And this biased, chest-puffed trash is what news has become.

Seriously, you’re going to write “news” about how women love certain technology, then just describe all the technology you personally own?

For the credit of Yahoo!, they do cover some controversial and serious topics. Anything that explodes online finds its way within twenty minutes onto Yahoo! I wonder, however, why it only takes twenty minutes. Let us take for example the KONY video released about a month ago. When people began sharing it on their walls, many people criticizes the supporters for jumping on a web bandwagon. But then again, people see something and need only click to share.

Many complained that no one checked their facts and that the video was riddled with falsity. But these are Facebook users and twitter users. There’s very little social responsibility for us beyond keeping up with who is in a relationship with who and who posted what pictures from what party last night. If this seems rather pathetic and ignorant, it is, but at least I can understand why someone just

checking their Facebook wall would not need to go on a scavenger search for truth.

And the day KONY2012 exploded, Yahoo! began posting about it as well. It is most certainly their responsibility to check facts. Days later, they upped the ante by criticizing KONY supporters while days ago supporting them. It’s not about facts or news or even interest. They work harder on their catchy headlines than any other part of their stories.

Besides not checking facts, the writers make a number of other follies. Most annoyingly, writing news about things that do not and will not ever matter. Read this breaking news story about the new Russian revolution going on– Oh, sorry, I meant, about Carrie Underwood’s leg: http://omg.yahoo.com/photos/2012-academy-of-country-music-awards-slideshow/

If I have to read another article about celebrity clothing or who divorced who after thirty days of lackluster marriage, I’m going to pierce my eyelids with fire pokers. For that reason, I’m giving up Yahoo! I am still going to use Yahoo! for my e-mail account, but beyond that, nope. I vow to from these day forward find an online newspaper with real news. With news that matters and news that isn’t petty and hockey-fashion-related on any day. Maybe I’m a grumpkin who can’t stand happy-feel-good stories, but seriously, another cat video?

That’s not a story. It’s a cat video.

I don't read the news. I just gossip with this girl who doesn't understand the importance of fiscal stability over chewing gum.

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About Derek Berry

Derek Berry is a novelist and spoken word poet. Derek is the author of Heathens and Liars of Lickskillet County (PRA Publishing, 2016). He co-founded and organizes The Unspoken Word, a literary non-profit based out of Charleston, SC, which provides an intendent home for the poetic arts through regular readings, workshops, and community fundraisers. He is on the Executive Board of the Charleston Poetry Festival, the inaugural production of which will be Fall 2017. His work has appeared in The Southern Tablet, Cattywampus, Charleston Currents, Illuminations, RiverSedge, and other journals.He has performed in venues across the United States and Germany. He has worked as a photographer’s assistant, busboy, and bookseller. He currently works at a curation facility for Cold War History.

Posted on April 2, 2012, in Blogging, Controversy, Facebook, Internet, News, Rant, writer, Writing, writing advice and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. The problem is Yahoo is a bit of a “tabloid on the web” newspaper. The writers are probably paid to bring in the viewers whether they believe in the story or not. The idea is that once there they may agree, disagree, or click on their advertising. I don’t think Yahoo is supposed to be the more serious news.

    • Still, they have become one of the most-used news outlets on the web which give them a sort of responsibility to take themselves somewhat seriously and at least make use of their editors.

      • I doubt that even enters their heads. If they have an agenda, they stick to it. Take Fox news for example. I’m pretty sure they don’t care about having biased news. But that is Murdoch for you. In the UK, one of his big tabloid papers used to have big conservative views, until they started to become unpopular, then the “miracle” of a switch to the main opposing party. I believe the “miracle” might have reversed itself since as the power switched again. Sadly news is more about agenda than actually reporting (unbiased) news these days.

  2. Yahoo stories suck they have always sucked I am switching to ABC’s news at least they seem somewhat reliable more so than yahoo. Every time I go on the main headline is about some celebrity and out in the back is a discovery made in science. I am 18 years old and I can see the stupidity of yahoo. I don’t think they even check the comments on their stories if you read them most are about how stupid the article is in the first place

  3. Additionally, some of their stories don’t make any sense. I just read a news story and I still have no idea what happened. Like they can’t even tell a straight forward narrative. They just threw a bunch of things that happened together without any sense of chronological order.

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