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Total Rugby League

Clickbait culture: why rugby league readers, not just writers, are to blame

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Keep your chin up Butty! 

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Really not sure what the purpose of this article was. I get the addressing of people’s theories that journalists don’t ask enough hard hitting questions but to then turn it and actively blame fans for not reading something that the author thought was good is, well, strange. 

Maybe fans are just fed up of turmoil, mud slinging, name calling, division and just general infighting within Rugby League. I know I am. I’m tired of Rugby League shooting itself in the foot again and again and again.

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Its a really important topic considering how algorithms and clicks seem to determine everything these days.

Hopefully it gets better sooner rather than later!

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Surely the fact that stories on Halifax signing Tommy Lee and Sosaia Feki getting injured shows that most fans are just interested in the rugby itself and not the business/salary end of things.

Nothing wrong with that in my opinion.

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1 hour ago, Total Rugby League said:

A few months ago I produced what I believed to be one of my best-ever pieces of journalism. It was a piece on the pay...

View the full article

The answer is in the phrase I have highlighted above. Yes, the journalist might believe it was his best piece but that is his opinion  - yet many fans obviously didn't think the same. So don't blame the fans because they have a different opinion.

I also want to ask why the following phrase was necessary ..I knew for a fact it was a piece that would p**s a lot of people off, too.

Obviously the writer knew that a certain word shouldn't be used hence the ****, so why use an abridged version which still obviously indicates what it was ?  Now that immediately did put me off reading it and was very poor journalism.

Why not say " I knew for a fact it was a piece that would upset a lot of people too" ?

Yes, I know that swearing has become the normal way of speaking to a lot of people these days (and those of us who don't like it are just expected to accept it) but if the writer had to put *** then he knew it was not right to use the phrase.

 

Edited by RL does what Sky says
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Whatever the problem is then it’s all our fault . I’m just gutted I missed the interview with the cowbell bloke 

Edited by DavidM
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1 hour ago, Hela Wigmen said:

Really not sure what the purpose of this article was.

I think Matt just wanted to explain how things are from his side of the fence (so to speak), because perhaps people aren't always aware of the difficulties that journalists face. It's not uncommon for someone to say that journalists should be doing XYZ, and so Matt is giving his insight as to why sometimes things happen the way they do. Personally, I found it interesting and thought provoking to read what he had to say. I can understand why he would feel frustrated sometimes with the circumstances that he's describing.

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1 minute ago, DavidM said:

Whatever the problem is then it’s all our fault.

I don't see a need to be so sensitive. He wasn't saying that it's "all" anyones fault. He simply was explaining that while some people might want and expect stories about certain issues (things that perhaps require from the journalist a lot of time, effort, and risk - in terms of upsetting people), that once those stories are produced they don't necessarily attract enough interest from readers to have made the effort worthwhile. Certainly not when, as Matt explains, there are much less time consuming stories that the journalist could pursue.

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Does anybody actually read stuff on this website? Often I don't bother clicking links as I will be told I don't have access.

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Just to clarify a few things here.

I'm not at all bothered that the situation is what it is. Trust me, it would be far easier for me to spend my entire day getting transfer stories and nothing else. Easy life.

And I'm not bitter that particular piece didn't do well, disappointed, yes, but I'm not angry about it. It's happened several times and will happen several times more. On the flip side, certain pieces do great that I thought weren't all that, like the Huddersfield cowbell piece.

The point I'm making is that media, and for the sake of this topic, the rugby league media, is criticised for not being hard-hitting enough or for promoting players. But, from my experience, as I've seen during the pandemic, you do a good piece of 'journalism' and the transfer stories still do better. Same applies with feature interviews, they just don't draw.

As an example, the pay cuts piece referenced was out-performance by a piece on two Gold Coast players being offered to Super League clubs by 2.5 hits to 1. One took a five-minute phone-call and 15 minutes to research and write. The other took up the best part of two full days.

The reality is, there is more appetite for those stories than the in-depth, well-considered and well-researched articles. I was merely trying to explain the situation.

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1 hour ago, Dunbar said:

Surely the fact that stories on Halifax signing Tommy Lee and Sosaia Feki getting injured shows that most fans are just interested in the rugby itself and not the business/salary end of things.

Nothing wrong with that in my opinion.

And this is another point I made in the piece. The sport's biggest strength is the on-field product but too often overshadowed by off-field politics. The stats on our website only reinforce that. Like I said, I'm not bemoaning it. But if your market wants something that's what you're going to give them.

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7 minutes ago, Matt Shaw said:

Just to clarify a few things here.

I'm not at all bothered that the situation is what it is. Trust me, it would be far easier for me to spend my entire day getting transfer stories and nothing else. Easy life.

And I'm not bitter that particular piece didn't do well, disappointed, yes, but I'm not angry about it. It's happened several times and will happen several times more. On the flip side, certain pieces do great that I thought weren't all that, like the Huddersfield cowbell piece.

The point I'm making is that media, and for the sake of this topic, the rugby league media, is criticised for not being hard-hitting enough or for promoting players. But, from my experience, as I've seen during the pandemic, you do a good piece of 'journalism' and the transfer stories still do better. Same applies with feature interviews, they just don't draw.

As an example, the pay cuts piece referenced was out-performance by a piece on two Gold Coast players being offered to Super League clubs by 2.5 hits to 1. One took a five-minute phone-call and 15 minutes to research and write. The other took up the best part of two full days.

The reality is, there is more appetite for those stories than the in-depth, well-considered and well-researched articles. I was merely trying to explain the situation.

But that's the same in all walks of life ... there are times when people think "Was it worth it ?"

It's the way the job is ... if it is an aspect of it that's not enjoyed then you've got to decide if you want to carry on doing it.

Edited by RL does what Sky says

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6 minutes ago, Matt Shaw said:

And this is another point I made in the piece. The sport's biggest strength is the on-field product but too often overshadowed by off-field politics. The stats on our website only reinforce that. Like I said, I'm not bemoaning it. But if your market wants something that's what you're going to give them.

Or find something else which suits your own wants.

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Just now, RL does what Sky says said:

But that's the same in all walks of life ... there are times when people think "Was it worth it ?"

It's the way the job is ... if it is an aspect of it that not enjoyed then you've got to decide if you want to carry on doing it.

You're missing the point.

It's not about enjoying it. More and more, journalists are viewed, and are employed, based on the clicks they bring to their website. My point is that doing the 'proper journalism' doesn't bring in the clicks to justify the time for those who are judged just on clicks. Sadly, more and more are judged on the clicks, so less and less of that journalism will exist. It's a broader issue than rugby league, really. Effectively, they can't cover the game and topics they may want to pursue because not enough people are interested. And that's why clickbait is growing.

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I was being slightly facetious but I do entirely get the point . It’s a symptom of society but it must be frustrating 

Edited by DavidM

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Just now, Matt Shaw said:

You're missing the point.

It's not about enjoying it. More and more, journalists are viewed, and are employed, based on the clicks they bring to their website. My point is that doing the 'proper journalism' doesn't bring in the clicks to justify the time for those who are judged just on clicks. Sadly, more and more are judged on the clicks, so less and less of that journalism will exist. It's a broader issue than rugby league, really. Effectively, they can't cover the game and topics they may want to pursue because not enough people are interested. And that's why clickbait is growing.

Yes and no .... If you are not bothered about enjoying the job you do then that's your way.  However, I am also saying that if clicks are wanted by those in charge but you instead want to do items which might not attracts clicks in such numbers then it is you who will have to find something else because those above aren't going to change because of you.

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Just now, RL does what Sky says said:

Yes and no .... If you are not bothered about enjoying the job you do then that's your way.  However, I am also saying that if clicks are wanted by those in charge but you instead want to do items which might not attracts clicks in such numbers then it is you who will have to find something else because those above aren't going to change because of you.

I don't want them to change. I'm not asking them to. Like I say, I'm more than happy doing transfer stuff all day. I don't want things to change but there are a lot of people (including plenty on here very critical of the RL media) who do. 

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1 minute ago, Matt Shaw said:

I don't want them to change. I'm not asking them to. Like I say, I'm more than happy doing transfer stuff all day. I don't want things to change but there are a lot of people (including plenty on here very critical of the RL media) who do. 

OK. Well, it then depends on what a journalist wants ... to do stories that he thinks people should read or do stories that they want to read ?  By the way - the swearing ? I don't want to read that.

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1 minute ago, RL does what Sky says said:

OK. Well, it then depends on what a journalist wants ... to do stories that he thinks people should read or do stories that they want to read ?  By the way - the swearing ? I don't want to read that.

They don't have a choice in some offices though. Do the stories they want and think are important, they don't do well, they're out of a job. That's the whole problem.

Each to their own, I must admit John subs out most of my swearing, but he's not in an office with me!

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7 minutes ago, Matt Shaw said:

I don't want them to change. I'm not asking them to. Like I say, I'm more than happy doing transfer stuff all day. I don't want things to change but there are a lot of people (including plenty on here very critical of the RL media) who do. 

Maybe if you keep saying that you don’t care, you’ll eventually believe it. 

 

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