How much distraction is too much? Have the media and broadcast outlets overdone it trying to promote every bit of content? Does everything need a continuous plug these days?
Online editorial layouts shown on CNN.com have changed. Intermittently in a story, they put teasers for other articles sprinkled in between the paragraphs. It’s quite distracting. The story I was reading really wasn’t that long to begin with. It’s like watching a cable channel with a show running and 3 streams of text running across various sections of the screen along with an animated teaser for another show. Who can focus intently enough to read all of that at the same time and not miss a beat of the actual show they are watching? I admit people, in general, don’t read like they used to. But this type of treatment has encouraged me not to finish reading any story out of mere distraction. It’s no wonder we can’t finish anything with all of these messages interrupting us continuously.
Online visitors could potentially begin to tune out those types of tactics and ignore them. Much like the big flashing web banner craze from the nineties. It seems like another example of how editorial content has lost its way. The fine line is already blurred between real and yellow journalism in many cases already. Are outlets so focused on marketing and ratings that they forget some viewers actually watch for the real news?