Maybe it’s the English major/instructor in me that still clings to archaic beliefs about language and syntax and organization and coherence, but I swear, a lot of the writing I see on “professional” journalism websites is barely legible. I’m not talking about Bob’s Big World of Nascar dot com, either. I’m talking about commercial sites owned by major news outlets. Sports sites seem to be the worst, but they are not the only. It’s truly disturbing to me.
I recognize that in this country journalism needs to be written on a fourth or fifth grade level to appeal to a mass audience, but I’m not sure much of what’s out there even reaches a fourth grade level Here’s an example:
Given how James announced his, ahem, decision, I suppose he had it coming. But let’s be honest: if any Miami professional athlete deserves some heckling, it’s Chad Henne. Or, if you’re a Browns fan, you should be buying that guy dinner after he gifted the Browns a victory last Sunday.
In unrelated news, Erik Spoelstra is now a Browns fan*.
* Fabrication … but wholly believable
This is professional journalism? It reads more like a drunken text message sent from one frat boy to another. Does he really get paid money for this crap? I feel like my efforts to teach English have been wasted since the major sources for news and journalism produce such poorly written articles. How can my lowly efforts to keep the language alive and somewhat thoughtful compete with such incompetence?
That’s only one example. I’ve encountered dozens more just like it, and it makes me wonder if it’s just a sign of the times, this ADD culture we’ve created. Or is it a symptom of something larger and more sinister, like the decline of the republic? While our education and health systems swirl around the drain, while our politicians engage in endless rounds of deliberation over who should get tax breaks, and while our energy consumption threatens the very existence of our planet, a major news outlet is paying good money for a guy to sit in a sports bar and type that crap on his Droid. Little thought, little deliberation, vague references to another sports “writer” and a different sporting event, this is what constitutes “journalism” at the end of 2010. This is exactly why so many of us in education feel as if we have wasted our lives.
Honestly, I can’t wait to get the farm rolling so that I can walk away from the system and never look back. I’ll write my silly books and maintain my silly blog, and that will be all I do to sustain the language.