Spoon-fed news

The news, the shorter they come, whether textually or audio-visually, the more appealing they get to the users and readers of the digital media.

Briefness is now the priority of all those who seek news on digital platforms, perhaps because this way it’s rendered possible to comfortably digest the squall of information that flows incessantly around them.

There’s not a lot of time to make a stop on some complete texts or videos, which implies for the editors a greater effort of synthesis and creativity in offering and maintaining the interest of the readers.

There are technological resources, however, that allow us to offer a “gourmet” news dish in which the primordial details, which should never be omitted, can be turned into dressings, which can then spoon-feed the users, while leaving no leftovers.

For example, short descriptive texts are combined with images with brief and simple headlines, or alternatively there’s a link to a video that rounds out or completes the version of an event or the core substance of an interview.

It turns out to be a fragmentation exercise designed to ensure the reader’s engagement with a story that is interesting by itself, and we can already see this happening in the written press, which bit by bit abandons the long and tedious texts and relies on photo-news formats or attractive insertings to facilitate a less exhausting or linear reading.

What we’re noticing since quite a while, is a greater preference for the video formats than for the textual ones, or for at least a simplified and brief text format that’s capable of handing over the real essence of a certain news event. It will be up to the reader to venture into the full text in case it arouses his or her interest, which will always be a possible thing to do.

We have to keep in mind that, although they converge at the same time in a platform, the management of the news are different between the printed and the digital ones, since the climates for these readings are different; in the digital scheme a kind of anxiety dominates to know simply what has happened while in the printed one occurs the opposite.

That is why all platforms must preserve their own identity, even if they benefit mutually from the intrinsical values of each other.

The social media contributes to the printed journalism with an inexhaustible source of hints to follow up a story, with those inputs it’s possible to build complete and high quality stories, which satisfies the interest of broad segments of users or readers.

Naturally, here we must also receive things in a spoon-fed manner to discern what’s true and right from the fanciful, banal and fake, because these ingredients also abound in the Internet.

Translated from spanish by Randy Rodriguez.