But first, let's get something straight right off the bat.
Just as good television and radio stations do everything possible to keep you tuned in through commercial breaks, we want you to click on our articles. As such, we write snappy headlines. While many other organizations use "headline writers," TheStreet, by and large, leaves article titles up to the author. After all, we know what best represents the content we, as individuals, write.
Call it "click bait" all you want; I call it smart. Do readers expect us to write headlines that would discourage them from clicking on an article? Not any more than they would expect CNBC's Carl Quintanilla to say, You know what, dear viewer, turn off the TV because we gots unadulterated boredom after these commercials.That said -- and, yes, I fall short from time to time -- I hold myself to a standard: The content that follows the click must deliver -- as in flow from -- the headline. The content needs to satisfy the reader's quest for information and/or stimulation. You might not always agree with what you read, but you weren't mislead. Unfortunately, not everybody abides by this guiding principle. Again, nobody's perfect -- we all mess up occasionally -- but if you were to cobble a list of the worst offenders, News Corp's (NWSA) New York Post belongs at the top. Here's the headline it used this morning on an "EXCLUSIVE" Pandora story: Then, in the story, Claire Atkinson buries what absolutely should have been part of the lead, focusing on "financial trouble" and broad-stroke mentions of an "increase in [Pandora] royalties" in association with her report that music publisher Sony/ATV negotiated a 25% increase in fees it collects from Pandora to play, among other selections, Michael Jackson songs. She provides some, though very little meaningful context at the very end of the story. That's a problem. If you only read the headline -- as so many people do -- you walk away thinking, here we go again, Pandora's royalties keep going up. That's a general perception that, while not necessarily false, paints a not-exactly-accurate picture.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV