The reason given was that my articles were not receiving enough page views. Never mind that over the past two weeks I cited at least eight that received on average 5000 views – this was the reason I was provided. The specific articles they directed my attention to were on the “sequestration,” the anti-biotic resistant virus becoming for prevenient,” the death of an openly gay black Mississippi mayoral candidate, Chicago Public Schools starting to teach sex education to five year-olds, and new research on how sugar in immediate environment contributes to increase risk of diabetes’s.
I have heard this before; from the same news outlet which once informed me that the essay of health risked associated with eating fast foods wouldn’t be run because many of their advertisers were major fast food corporations. And another urban outlet that which noted that I am too honest in pointing out breeches in President Obama’s social contract and specific neglect of African Americans via his Keynesian economic approach.
Why? All because of what is called Search Engine Optimization – SEO. It is the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” listings on search enginesAlong time ago MTV played its first music video – “video killed radio. Today SEO is killing the African American journalist and media platform. I find this both diseased and neglectful of the needs of the African American community. First, being more concerned with page views instead of content implies that we desire for African Americans to be ill-informed, celebrity and reality TV addicted consumerist. Truth be told, this is our problem. Consumption, specifically the consumption of pathology, infection and decay affiliated with taking in mental stimuli that serves no benefit other than to promote, vanity, materialism and downright ignorance in the effort to entertain.
Entertaining the masses is more important, via obtaining page views than empowering the masses. Now what is comical is the content directed towards African Americans as steered by Urban media that gets the most page views include the following: Weekly celebrity instagram photos, what twitter is saying (as if twitter is a person) about Blu Ivy baby pictures, Celebrity boob jobs, Celebrities with fake hair and the ubiquitous reality TV show update. Ironic unlike other ethnic groups, African American community media outlets top web portals typically attended to celebrity, music and entertainment. No other racial breakdown of topical preferences shows similar levels of interest toward celebrity idolization. I mean just take the top ten mainstream web sites and compare them to the top ten African websites (in terms of page views). Meaning our appeal that we direct services is on the pathology of voyeurism, given the top AA blogs content addresses, fashion, celebrity, gossip, music and beauty.
Urban media and news have dropped the ball and have followed the path of radio after the introduction of video (that is in urban communities). SEO and page views and the bottom line is all that matters. So what little kids blow each other’s heads off every day with illegal weapons, let’s play music about killing each other daily, or put and article up to see what’s Drake’s latest instagram post. Urban media is feeding into the massive levels of African American consumerism and excessive voyeurism in a time of higher than ever African American poverty, homelessness, incarceration, HIV and illiteracy not to mention violence. The goal is to spread visual garbage in print media (because posts that get most page views have pictures and no words).
By following the lead of mainstream media, urban media is serving as an accomplice to mental genocide. It pushes the agenda of what is commercial and popular instead of what is essential. In essence waiting for whatever it is mainstream media tells us is important for us to know and accepting their definition of what issues, topics and subjects, and running with the ball. In the past we would be out in front of mainstream government news simply because they left out our story from our perspective. Thus we broke news and information that was important for our community’s survival.
All of this reminds me of something I am often reminded of. It was Carter G. Woodson who said, “If you can control a man’s thinking, you do not have to worry about his action…If you make a man think that he is justly an outcast, you do not have to order him to the backdoor. He will go without being told; and if there is no back door, his very nature will demand one.” Forgetting that in times prior one couldn’t enter through the front door, has lead us to make backdoors today big and wide for all to enter. The demand for page views and being enamored by SEO has destroyed the overall tenor of the distribution of news and information; in fact actually disseminating information by urban media may actually already be in the grave.