Yellow journalism is alive and well in the 21st century. It was a plague over a hundred years ago, it’s growing, and has more influence than ever.
For Apple watchers and the company’s hundreds of millions of customers, the digital technorati elite speak a different language; one made up of noisy sensationalism, devoid of fact checking, lacking reasonable understanding of business or technology, and with a single goal in mind– grabbing your attention as often as possible.
Following? Or, Leading?
It doesn’t take much effort these days to find headline after headline, article after article where the facts are just plain wrong, or mis-represented. One of the most perfect examples of this tired, old school journalism hit the Apple Watch recently.
How much does it cost to make Watch? The headlines said $84. That’s total rubbish. It was a guesstimate at best, obviously factually incorrect, but the so-called news of the cost hit the web-o-sphere and broadcast news like a wildfire.
Only Apple knows for sure how much Watch truly costs, and, of course, the company won’t say, but $84 is ridiculous on its face.
The problem we run into while driving along the misinformation superhighway is the deadly combination of content type and volume. Thanks to the internet, there is more content now than every before in the history of mankind and it’s growing; seemingly exponentially. Serious, fact-checked content is in short supply. Internet headlines can be generated automatically, without human intervention.
It also seems as if content has little thoughtful analysis. Long before Apple Watch launched, technorati elite critics had panned the device. Crying, “Who needs it?” And, “What problem does it solve?” Or, “It’s overpriced hype!” That was the so-called insightful analysis of a device that had yet to hit the marketplace. What do actual customers think? Watch is not for everyone, but many millions will love and use it.
According to members of the technorati elite, Apple is working on an iPad Pro, a new Apple TV remote, and Watch is being added to a list of recent Apple failures, including Apple Pay. Those headlines are real. The stories behind the headlines are made up rubbish, designed to titillate the senses of the unwary, trading eyeballs for advertising dollars. Fortunately for Apple, the company’s customer base is made up of those with more education, more disposable income, insightful and discriminating human beings who are less inclined to be swayed by what passes as journalism from the sensational digital rags of the 21st century.