Is Sensationalism Dead?

Was that a catchy enough title to get you to read this, or are you tired of being baited by headlines about the death, demise and killing of things that really don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon? For instance, can you sense some subtle pattern in the headlines below?

I’m so tired of seeing headlines like these that I have completely stopped reading any article whose title predicts the end or death of anything. In fact, if the end of the world were coming and it was front page news, I probably wouldn’t even know it (so please shoot me an email). In my opinion, using this type of sensationalistic journalism is like starting a poem “Roses are red, violets are blue,” or a novelist earnestly penning “It was a dark and stormy night…” I proclaim the death of sensational headlines in favor of an era of relevance and creativity! Are you with me?

4 Responses to Is Sensationalism Dead?

  1. Hey, how can you forget the famous, Is CF Dead? We hear that a few times a year. 🙂

  2. Is it in behalf of some news about a MS-FlashKiller…? 😉

  3. John Dowdell says:

    heh… Walter Cronkite had it lucky, everybody took him at his word back then, before the internet…. ;-)(Reporters don’t have an easy job… they need to fill a column and attract readership… defining new things in terms of things people already know helps comprehension, and creating conflict helps draw readers. The old principles of Usenet trollery still apply to drawing viral attention, and an inflammatory headline can help spread a link.)jd/mm

  4. It’s not sensationalism; it’s trying to anticipate change.There’s a reason why most of the headlines you quoted end with a question mark — no one knows such things.Hell, Bill Gates had to write his famous memo, “The Internet Tidal Wave”, for a reason — it was neither obvious nor universally accepted how big an upheaval was right around the corner.Is Netscape dead? Is WordPerfect dead? Is CompuServe dead? Is COBOL dead? Is BSD dead? They’ve all still got thousands, if not millions, of users. With most technologies, it’s not a simple moment of death; more like a gradual process. And the sooner people can correctly ascertain the answer, the more they can adapt accordingly.The Eolas lawsuit is a big deal for Flash. So is Microsoft’s upcoming “Sparkle” software, if the rumors are true.Maybe Flash will be dead soon, maybe it won’t. But I believe it’s worth asking, and asking often–whether you’re a developer, user, investor or Macromedia themselves.Like Andy Grove said, “Only the paranoid survive.”