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"Front End" (FE) News Tag

Voluntary tag to put on web news articles that get right to the point rather than blathering on to maximize ad viewing time.
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In the past we got our news from newspapers that had it in their interest to grab your attention (like they do with web news posts) but they'd quickly summarize the story in the first sentence. The information would progress into details should you still be interested. So a story would be:

Headline: Godzilla Destroys Tokyo

(Still interested? Here's the first paragraph) "Giant monster was caused by radiation leaks and went crazy destroying buildings.)

(Want more details? At that point the dates, times, background etc would be spelled out.) "Experiments with lizards exposed to radiation in Kyoto laboratory said to have created this monster."

So today, with the internet, the idea is to keep you clicking as long as possible to expose you to the most ads, so often they hide the point of the story till the end. This is obnoxious, I saw a story about how a little boy almost died after having a barbecue and the story would not say why until the very end. Having both kids and barbecues in my family I was hooked and very pissed that they made me read probably ten paragraphs before they said it was a piece of a wire grill cleaning brush that had gotten lodged in his throat causing an infection.

A brief example of the Godzilla story with the new way they do it would be "Tokyo Destroyed-Bodies everywhere-Scientists saw this coming-Started in a lab in Kyoto" etc.

Since I don't see a technical fix for this, I'd propose a free market approach: stories that put most of the information at the front of the story with details trailing off as the story progresses get to label their stories "Front End" meaning if you click on it, you'll get the gist of the story immediately. Stories so tagged will presumably get most of the clicks and be more successful at selling advertising. So the headline on the web story would read: "Godzilla Destroys Tokyo (Front End)" and eventually just "FE".

Now this is an honor system and anybody could lie of course, but they'd get to do that once, then people would go "Okay, SuperNewsWorld lies, I'll never click on them again."

I personally would only click on headlines tagged as such. If this worked, it would solve what I think is the most obnoxious aspect of how we get most of our news these days.

doctorremulac3, Mar 07 2023

What whatrock is referring to. https://www.animalz...ttom-line-up-front/
Good stuff. Do this in the free marketplace but tag it so consumers will know to chose it. [doctorremulac3, Mar 07 2023]

How things really work today https://www.gocomic...oreswine/2023/03/22
[a1, Mar 22 2023]



       The military called this BLUF: Bottom Line Up Front.   

       So nice to have the answer leading and not buried in the blather.
whatrock, Mar 07 2023

       BLUF: Learn to avoid clickbait sources.   

       Yes, BLUF is still a common acronym. And real journalists still know "don't bury the lede."   

       I can't see clickbait sources adopting this tagging idea though. It's contrary to their proven and profitable business model . But I *do* see potential for news aggregator sites to analyze stories and apply such tags automatically - monetize it by selling that feature to subscribers.
a1, Mar 07 2023

       //The military called this BLUF: Bottom Line Up Front.//   

       Love the concept, but the acrynym "BLUF" sounds like "bluff" as in fake. Not great for a news story. But love that the military does this. Great example of an organization that can't afford to mess around doing news right. You'd never have seen: "Did you hear about the shocking events at Pearl Harbor today that everybody's talking about?"   

       Whatever the tag, this would be an experiment in free market forces. Does the better protuct (one where you get the bottom line up front) win over the current product? Dunno.   

       I know personally I'd only click banner headlines with the FE tag or equivalent.
doctorremulac3, Mar 07 2023

       // this would be an experiment in free market forces. Does the better protuct (one where you get the bottom line up front) win over the current product? Dunno //   

       It's called "a/b testing" - and the prevalence of click-bait presentations should tell you how that experiment has worked out.
a1, Mar 07 2023

       Hey whatrock, thanks for the info about this. Just reading about the BLUF thing which is the prescribed norm for military communications, very good stuff.   

       That's why I'd like to see the idea of the FE tag for news stories which has never been done before. Let the consumer know this is a superior product up front so readers will gravitate towards FE headlines and skip the bullshit time wasters.   

       Industrial Darwinism. Good stuff. If you're gonna make a better product mark it as such so it wins the competition.
doctorremulac3, Mar 07 2023


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