NBC Turns Child’s Suicide into Clickbait Headline

AP Photo/Mark Lennihan
AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

New York’s NBC affiliate perpetrated what is becoming the worst sin in media today by using a clickbait-style headline on Twitter. Worse, it was a clickbait headline to sell the story of a 10-year-old’s suicide.

Clickbait headlines are fast becoming the bane of the Internet, and the practice is often looked down upon as a last resort of the lowest level of social media. But now, it looks like network news affiliates are even indulging in the reviled practice, if the efforts of NBC’s Channel 4 are any indication.

In an April 2 posting to Twitter, New York’s Channel 4, the Big Apple’s NBC affiliate, thought to use the clickbait headline saying, “A fifth-grader who jumped to his death at school was upset over this, police say.”

The story itself had a more conventional, if longish, title: “10-Year-Old Boy Who Jumped to Death at New Jersey School After Chess Game Had Threatened Suicide Four Times: Cops.”

But the fact that an NBC affiliate used a clickbait-styled posting for its social media outreach is yet another mark of the downgrading of our news media.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com.