Redundancy in Media: Entertainment Journalists Get Called Out for Being Uninspired and the Internet Can’t Handle It!

What exactly do Tom Cruise, egg yolks, and the Disney+ show Hawkeye have in common? Well, not much, but each of them are the topic of their own article that exemplifies one of the biggest problems in modern journalism, particularly entertainment focused journalism.

The first article details the return of a fan favorite Marvel Cinematic Universe character in the most recent episode of Hawkeye (haven’t seen the show yet, heard it’s good) and many fans’ to-be-expected enthusiastic response to it on social media. The second article regards a viral Twitter video that shows a young man drinking his egg yolk through a straw at a restaurant and the disgusted replies and he received after doing so. The third article details Tom Cruise’s recent trip to a Giants v Dodgers baseball game, where fans were surprised to see such a high profile movie star simply enjoying the classic American sport in his free time like any other person would.

Still not seeing the connection between these three stories? Don’t worry, I wouldn’t expect you to just yet. Let me lay out the three headlines and see if you can spot it:

“Hawkeye episode 4 features a major cameo, and the internet can’t handle it”

“Someone Drank Eggs Through A Straw And The Internet Can’t Handle It”

“Tom Cruise Goes to Baseball Game, and the Internet Can’t Handle It”

The collective mental state of internet users must be fractured beyond repair at this point, as every article regarding something slightly shocking gets capped by the “and the internet can’t handle it” cliche. It’s a worldwide sensation that brings to mind the Buzzfeed audience, yet has found it’s way adorning articles being published by the likes of respected outlets such as Vanity Fair.

Kingsley Amis sums it up quite nicely (and with MUCH more brevity than myself)

While this can be chalked up to a simple trend in modern journalism that will likely be replaced by another in time, the implications are troubling. What headlines like this prove is that not only are journalists beginning to deplete their originality tanks, but that they are also moving in a more trendy, buzzword-y direction that may define the way the media operates going forward. Hard hitting headlines with clever wordplay are becoming more and more infrequent as modern journalists begin to fall back on cliches and clickbait headlines that place more importance on the view count rather than originality. Similar to the direction of entertainment industries like music and film, originality in journalism is slowly being replaced with trends and choices that have been focus group tested to earn the sites as much money and views as possible, leaving originality and norm-defying journalism in the dust.

Is this a major problem? The largest issue facing the world in this modern age? No, not really. But when one considers the state that it could leave journalism in a decade or two from now, it does cause a slight eyebrow raise of curiosity. I wonder if the internet will be able to handle a world where every article uses different variations of the same headline? I sure hope someone writes an article about it. Preferably one that tells me whether or not they were able to handle it right in the title. I need to know what I’m getting into before I click on it. Originality scares me. Buzzfeed headlines make me feel safe (along with Vanity Fair now, I guess). All I know for sure is this…

I CAN’T handle it anymore (someone get Vanity Fair on the phone, I think I’ve got a story for them)!

About tylerrhyan

A self proclaimed film fanatic and aspiring writer. As someone who's tried my hand at directing a few cheesy short films, I have a deep appreciation for directors and their craft.

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