Staying Relevant in the Social Media Age

By Emma Clark

Catlin Gabel School (Portland, Oregon)

Journalism in this day and age is becoming increasingly less engaging and has been superseded by social media. In hopes of retaining readers, journalistic sites and media conglomerates alike must take dire and immediate action. The methods that these journalistic sites must take to stay relevant and profitable, include employing clickbait content and thrusting this content on the backs of social media platforms.  

The first method, creating clickbait articles, although slightly deceptive, is a sure fire way to earn more views. The goal is to lure readers in through the use of the same ridiculous headlines that saturate our twitter feeds and facebook pages. Once interested, the automatic human response is to find out more. While this game of shadows and mirrors could turn away some, it has the very real potential to hook current practitioners of social media. What’s more, these title would still follow traditional guidelines, and have some bearing on the story, but in a way in which would still peak an interest in readers.

The second method, using multiple elements, is a unique way to keep the reader entertained. According to the American Press Institute, using interactives mediums such as audio elements embedded in text, video clips intertwined with the story or graphics can create a whole new world for the reader to interface with and explore. Today, people have grown familiar with the new digital age and need more visual and interactive platforms to keep them interested.

As media buyouts and mergers continue, and print subscriptions dwindle, employing interactive choices is no longer merely a suggestion but a compulsory move to stay alive in a jungle of short attention spans.


This story was produced by student reporters as part of the WANT Summer Journalism Fellowship, an annual collaboration among aspiring journalists. For more information go to

Featured image: EPP Group in the CoR

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