This is how CNN do it

This is how CNN do it

The Malta Independent has been doing all it can to get as many pageviews as they can, and why wouldn’t they? Pageviews mean that more people are on your website which means you can get more revenue for your advertising. After all we do live in hard journalistic times.

Whereas other newspapers get their pageviews through breaking news stories and doing investigative journalism, The Malta Independent has been relying on sensationalism to get people on their site. As a person who works in the digital world I understand the need to attract as many people as possible but there are lines that should never be crossed.

Today The Malta Independent crossed that line!

One of their articles treated the very delicate subject of animal cruelty. Instead of going about such a subject in an ethical way they thought it would make more sense to crank up the shock value so that pageviews could come a knocking.

The title is already a sick way of getting people to click.

It started about the kind of cases the animal welfare have to deal with. That is very honourable, and is something which we need more of. People need to know what is happening out there, especially so that if they see it happening they know what to do.

What wasn’t honourable for the newspaper to do is show the pictures of dead, mutilated animals without any warning.

This is not journalism, this is sensationalism. Shock is not how to educate people. The ones who will be shocked will be the ones who are really disturbed and probably do not need to be educated anyway. The rest, if they weren’t shocked, than your article is beyond reaching them isn’t it?

Those are my qualms about distributing those kind of pictures. However, if there was the need to distribute them, and this can be an editorial choice, they should have come with a warning and not simply use them to pepper an article. This is how to ethically do journalism. You would think that a newspaper which has been in circulation for the past 20 years would know that.

What is even sicker is that they were very quick to also change the cover photo on their Facebook page to one of the photos procured!

Finally, I am also aware that writing this will probably send more people to go have a look but if you are reading this and you believe that what The Malta Independent is doing is wrong then please send an email to Mr Stephen Calleja who is the Editor of The Malta Independent Online – scalleja@independent.com.mt. If like me you’re super pissed off you can go above Mr Calleja and contact Mr Noel Grima who is the consulting editor – ngrima@independent.com.mt.

Tell him how this is not doing those poor animals any favours. Tell him that if the newspaper really cared about this subject they would have treated this article in a very different manner. Alternatively you can also tell The Malta Independent what a sick bunch of assholes they are for trying to get pageviews through showing animal cruelty.

Congrats Malta Independent, you truly sicken me!