If it bleeds, it leads

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By Managing Editor Molly Barrieau

Gruesome, I know.

That phrase has been repeated to me a few times throughout my university degree, and it always grosses me out. The idea was—when journalism was still a profitable job—if there was a shooting, murder, or fire, it likely made the front page or, in our case, page five. This concept has never changed, however, last year, it seemed that catastrophes, like the Presidential Election, always bled, and led.

Quantity prevailed over quality, time and time again, and, eventually, shouting from our windows about controversial tweets was the new newspaper. Citizen journalism took a huge spike in 2016, when just about anyone could document and spread breaking news with puppy ears and an obtuse tongue. This inevitably led to some memorable news, particularly falsified, parodies and oh so many click-bait links.

Click-bait is the use of flashy language and appealing images to garner attention and encourage hits to a site or story, “at the expense of quality or accuracy” according to Wikipedia. aka, every Buzzfeed article title.

Before I allow myself to go off on that tangent, I’ve been considering the type of news that made publication last year, and the way we are now gathering our news. Obviously, there were newsmakers that dominated the barrage of fire garbage that fired from “news” sources, forcing readers to decipher the truth, if there was any.

The other day, my First Nations professor Studies asked my seminar what truth was to us, and where we trust to get information. After a lengthy discussion of higher power, hypothesis and hierarchy, we began to talk about news souwrces, and their truths. My prof knows I’m a journalist, so I grimaced, physically, at his “you don’t watch Fox News?” friendly joke.

Theses days, finding well-balanced and honest news is near impossible. The former devotion to quality news stories has been pushed aside for a garish, eye-catching version of journalism, intended solely for the blood-thirsty audience craving the scoop of celebrity diets.

At what point will journalistic standard be an old-fashioned term?

I want to develop an understanding of the bloody title. Back in the good ol’ days of newspapers, when the phrase “copy and paste” actually meant scissors and glue, story order was crucial to readers of physical newspapers. Breaking news was first, followed by anything else, and if it was too long, that’s what the scissors were for.

As the one holding the metaphorical scissors these days, I have no problem killing your darlings, but there is something reassuring about publishing with The Navigator, we hardly have to mince our words, or worry if we’ve lost ourselves in search of followers and site stats.

I believe the student press is the stepping stone to determining a student’s interest in the world, even if we focus locally. If we continue to share fair and unbiased articles, we set an example for other Canadian news providers, that, even when print presses slowly decay along with Blockbusters and home phones, journalism must continue to uphold its primary objectives: do it efficiently and do it right.


Molly is a creative writing major with a modern languages minor, has a love for editing, publishing and linguistics. She is in her fifth and final year at VIU. She hopes to land a job in Montreal and open a poutine truck with her partner when she retires.