Jon’s best ‘news’ article


When nothing interesting happens in the world, the news must go on. That’s a rule of life. Some articles are written because something noteworthy has happened or someone’s got an opinion. Others are written to fill space, to get clicks, or maybe off the back of a lost bet.

My best thing today is one of the latter – a pumpazing article from America. That is one that tries hard to be good but just isn’t. This story about a hero dog and a python takes the concept of news to a whole other level. Unfortunately, it’s a lower level.

The headline is good – suggesting that maybe a dog battled with a dangerous snake -but things go down hill from there though.

We find out that the dog didn’t fight the snake, he just found it in a hole. But that’s ok because the snake was probably dangerous and that dog saved lives. Well, not quite…

…the non-poisonous and non-threatening ball python escaped… There was no danger to the general public, but still, let’s face it: snakes are scary.

So this article could have been titled ‘Dog barks at harmless pet snake’ or ‘Everybody is and always has been fine’ but I might not have clicked on those links.

This is my favourite example of a new type of journalism. One where you think of a good headline then spend the rest of your word count apologising for it – explaining why it’s not actually that interesting.

The writer (Connor Simpson) has a sense of humour and by the last paragraph he’s given up hiding:

So here’s to you, Hero Dog. You saved those poor Ivy Leaguers from a harmless snake.

At least Connor knows that his story is a non-event. My favourite thing about this article is that it was picked up by Atlantic Newswire who say about their service:

atlantic newswire

By synthesizing, analyzing and summarizing what’s out there, and adding new information when we can, we are a news engine that gives you a quick and valuable account of the issues of the day.

Thanks Atlantic wire – your analysis skills have given me access to the best and most pumpazing ‘news’ article.