Bombastic writing style lashed

A series of recent People's Daily commentaries lashing out at the bombastic, ostentatious and self-glorifying style that typifies some writing today.

Titles like “Japan horrified into stupidity” or “China has garnered so many No 1s that nobody dares gainsay this” are just some of the examples mentioned in a series of recent People’s Daily commentaries lashing out at the bombastic, ostentatious and self-glorifying style that typifies some writing today.

Clickbait can be probably seen as a variety of this empty style. Such titles are sensational, and therefore misleading. As the commentaries observe, crafting eye-catching titles is even deemed a “journalistic principle,” in light of which “A good editor should also double as a marketing specialist.” This logic is probably responsible for sensational titles that keep cropping up on social media platforms, or even print media.

Today most social media accounts seem to operate on a very simple tenet: More clicks create more buzz which, ultimately, is linked to bottomline or even survival. The tactic is self-defeating: Once readers discover that the attention-grabbing headlines aren’t supported by facts, they can’t but feel deceived. When this happens repeatedly, readers will become wary of, or disgusted with, misleading titles, and refuse to jump at the baits.

More aggravating, when clickbait headlines become the norm, it can be detrimental to the health of public opinion. They might boost traffic, for the time being, but airy and pompous narratives could be socially disruptive, and they certainly squander the trust readers have invested in these media.

A good headline should be an accurate summary of what follows, concise and to the point.

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