Obstruction, But Make It Optimistic

One of the most frequent complaints I hear from other people about the news is that it makes them feel hopeless. In the 2010s, people have been bombarded like never before with news about issues that are out of their power. Although the impeachment is not necessarily one of these topics – in fact, it’s quite the opposite, it’s an exercise of the power of the people – news about Donald Trump can be exhausting to read overall, and this hot-and-cold impeachment inquiry seems to be another source of emotional exhaustion for citizens who want him out of office.

Vox News’ latest article on the impeachment inquiry seeks to change that attitude. This article is full of hope, describing the Democratic Party as optimistic and obstinate in their efforts to push impeachment. For folks who felt hopeful when the impeachment inquiry was posed, it was defeating to hear that the President’s administration had blocked a key witness from testifying in the impeachment case. Vox’s article says, “No! Don’t lose hope yet!”

Elements of the article almost read like coverage of sports teams in playoff games, with the headline “Democrats see an upside to Trump stonewalling their inquiry…” and in-article language like “this gives them even greater ammunition [against Trump],” and “this doesn’t bother Democrats one bit; because in a sense, this is a win-win for them.”

This article strategy makes a lot of sense. With the impeachment inquiry ongoing, reporting updates in chunks WITH a positive spin keeps readers engaged, (“what’s gonna happen next?”) without making them feel like they’ve been hearing about this impeachment business for-freaking-ever without any progress being made. And, since Vox News seems to target millennials with their snappy headlines and news summary podcasts (for people who are just too busy to stay updated) having an article that is structured in a way that won’t make readers lose hope, as many millennials often do, is a good idea. Overall, the article is attention-grabbing, engaging, and imbues the reader with a sense of hope. This keeps readers returning, and when your site relies on clicks to keep it in business, that is important. If you bring a little hope into someone’s life, that’s a plus too!

One thought on “Obstruction, But Make It Optimistic

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  1. Love that you brought attention to the importance of hope in reporting, putting stories in context can often do that like in the Vox article you included. I often struggle with reporting that fails to mention how one small failure doesn’t scrap the entire process. Though there are times I can catch it myself, in areas that I’m less familiar with I feel hopeless whenever an article is just doom-and-gloom.

    On an unrelated note, you might not believe me but I was watching reruns of ANTM when I first came across this article and promptly read it. Thanks for the smile you put on my face by making your title a Tyra reference. The coincidence made it all the better, making me laugh too.


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