The Guardian Runs Out of Question Marks.
Earlier today The Guardian offices had to replace the question-mark key on all their journalist’s keyboards as the symbol had rubbed clean through excessive use. Almost every article and opinion piece ends with desperate exhortations encouraging readers to “join the conversation” by leaving their comments.
Despite the fact readers look to newspapers for authoritative and insightful writing, the growing trend has been to write any old guff that might stimulate feedback in an effort to raise the website’s visitor count when courting online advertisers.
Dubbed “citizen journalism” by some, others regard the trend as annoying, trivial, and not what people visit respected newspaper sites for. “If I wanted to read the ramblings of the public I’ll go to Twitter.” said one Guardianista. “Give me journalism!”
With almost every other article, including recipes and TV reviews, ending with “what do you think?” or “what are your thoughts?”, the trend has spread across most newspaper websites and even infected BBC television news who regularly implore viewers of regional bulletins to comment on stories as diverse as the weather, immigration, and local fetes, or send in pictures of their pets and sprogs.