The Irrelevancy between Headline and Content in Online Journalism


While hard copy newspapers require better circulation figures, news websites seek to reach more and more clicks. This paper claims that headlines and the body of news reports have never been that much irrelevant in journalism history. The readers’ experience while consuming online news media today is a type of trickery. The reader is firstly directed by an overwhelming headline and then they end up with content where the headline was constructed as a ‘click-catcher’ but not as an informative sign. For instance, on 14th April 2011, a Turkish daily Sabah used a horrible headline about a Turkish actor: “Peker Açıkalın died but…”. When the readers clicked the headline and read the whole report, it was found out that the actor had a cardiac arrest and his heartbeat became normal after an electroshock treatment. Therefore, he actually did not die but was killed by the headline. This striking and tricky headline probably received so many clicks but it was a clear example of how media ethics can be overlooked for the sake of the number of clicks in the new media order. All in all, this paper aims to categorise the types of tricks conducted by Turkish online news media and presents some examples that can clearly put forward the transformation in news language in the new conditions of news writing. The empirical work will be carried out on Turkish nationwide newspapers’ websites by employing a qualitative content analysis.

Author Information
Alaaddin F. Paksoy, Anadolu University, Turkey

Paper Information
Conference: MediAsia2014
Stream: Journalism

This paper is part of the MediAsia2014 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon