Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Worst Day of the Year

Attention all news websites: your April Fools' stories are almost never funny. 99% of your readers see them coming miles away, and the 1% not in on the jokes won't appreciate being hoodwinked once someone clues them in. And if you don't think this is a widespread problem, think again.

Just take a look at this gem. Smile Politely's audience may know what's up, but is there any actual value to this article? Sure, it may be good for a chuckle, but as a friend pointed out to me this morning, Boardman's has been struggling financially. Does it not seem in poor taste to post a fictional story about a beloved theater closing when that's not too far from the truth? In the time it took to produce this obnoxious article, the writer could have easily informed the reader of how Boardman's is actually faring.

(I also don't appreciate how every legitimate article needs to let us know that the writer is telling the truth. Perhaps this insidious pseudo-holiday is actually damaging the public trust.)

Luckily, we only have to deal with this problem for a day, but I'm sick of dreading April 1 every year. When I want my fake news, I consult The Onion or The Colbert Report. Actual journalists, leave the comedy to the professionals and get back to work.

3 comments:

  1. Nice bite. Great photo. And I AM working!

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  2. Nice photo. Wow, you taught English in China? I was thinking about possibly doing TEFL after I graduate. Would you recommend it?

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  3. I like your picture! It captures the tone of your post perfectly. As for the April Fool's thing, I think it's kind of fun. I remember a couple of years ago ISU blocked Facebook for all of its students, and included a story in the school's newspaper about how Facebook had shut down. At the bottom of the page, it did mention that this was a joke, and that their beloved stalk-book would return soon. I thought that was great. Sometimes an April Fool's trick is just what we all need...it makes people slow down.

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