Accept it – in an age where news spreads through social media like twitter, Naija news Facebook or other channels as fast as fingers can type, news articles are no more the primary source of learning breaking news, even though some articles may be classified in that category.
Today’s news articles are more opinionated than journalistic, because the journalism gets published in real time through rss feeds and social media.
What is left for traditional publications, even traditional publications on the internet, is to create news digests with generous doses of opinion and views to turn out news features that provoke readers into making comments for or against the writer.
That’s what news articles are all about today. Because they take time to write and research, and much before the writing is finished, the raw information reaches those who are crazy about remaining updated.
The internet is open and active 24 X 7 and news is received by people interested in a topic, usually within a few moments of the news reaching the news room, and much before a feature is created and published on a news outlet.
This does not of course mean that news articles have lost their value, but that they have gained more value and become immensely tougher to write. Unless, of course, you are just creating landfill content, or recycling stuff.
Today, when writing a news feature the writer usually assumes that the audience or at least a part of the audience who would be most interested in the topic is already aware of the news in its skeletal form. So, third person reiteration of information is going to receive little appreciation or reaction among readers.
Since users are now able to publish their opinion on the same page where a news feature is published, the writer runs the risks of attracting negative comments if the news feature is not fleshed out properly, and does not match the sentiments of the reader. This means more research to be done for news articles to create views articles that can engage the audience and hold their attention for more than three seconds, and then progress to a maximum of three minutes. The “three seconds” job is done by the title, and the rest has to be done by the writer working hard and demonstrating his skills.