In a piece that’s getting a lot of rotation today, Politico Magazine inveighs against the coarseness of Internet news culture. Titled “The Day We Pretended to Care About Ukraine,” the essay by Sarah Kendzior argues that news outlets were exploiting what they dubbed the “apocalyptic” feel of the photos coming from that troubled land.
The Kyiv protests were also starting to look like clickbait. By the end of the day on Wednesday, Business Insider, Talking Points Memo, Buzzfeed and Mashable had all published their own listicle versions of what Huffington Post called “Ukraine Crisis: 12 Apocalyptic Pictures After Nation’s Deadliest Day.” High in resolution, low on explanation, the articles painted Ukraine’s carnage by numbers.
Now available at Politico Magazine: “Ukraine’s Song of Ice and Fire: Nineteen unbelievable photos of the violence in Kyiv.” Looks a bit like clickbait to this observer. Perhaps what separates the stuff that Politico Magazine criticizes from the stuff that Politico Magazine presents lies in the “low on explanation” caveat: Its click-inducing photo essay contains longer-than-normal captions.