20 years ago, every journalist was respected as much as a policeman or a soldier. 10 years ago, journalists still had a reputation to save but you could sense that something isn’t right.
Today we wonder whether journalistic integrity is still a thing. Nowadays it’s the clicks that matter, not the truth. However, I am sure that staying on the path to protect your integrity will pay dividends in the future.
Getting to know the algorithms
Google keeps emphasizing that their algorithms are getting better. You may still manipulate the system sometimes, but the future is clearly defined. Original, quality content will be easily recognized and placed to the top.
It may sound like a live casino owner warning you not to cheat because: ‘in the end, they will catch you’. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t, right?
But if trusting Google’s algorithms is not what you prefer, there are other reasons to pick quality content over a fluff piece every time.
Although, journalistic integrity isn’t the overarching theme of the article, I’d like to mention it just for a second. Integrity is something you have until you lose it. That’s it.
I don’t know if it’s truly possible to rebuild a reputation, but I’d rather not try.
Even thinking about shady stuff makes a journalist’s skin crawl. Think about it, investigative journalists risk, often lose, their lives in search for the truth. And they still do it.
That’s a reason alone to look after your own reputation as a journalist (no matter whether you are a blogger, copywriter or an actual journalist).
Readers will come
Imagine a pirate in the 1545. He’s been at sea for 3 months. All he has been eating was biscuits. And all he drank was beer and rum. If you were him and got to the shore, you would go nuts for a quality meal with a glass of water.
Now, imagine a modern day reader who used to trust online news. Now, entire news portals are overflowing with puff pieces and clickbait headlines. There is no doubt in my mind that, soon, a time will come when readers will say enough is enough.
Even now, quality publications set up payment systems. Many readers are choosing to pay rather than waste their time with the ‘free news’.