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Not Every Article Needs A Picture

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Written by   3
8 months ago
  • Pictures and text often pair nicely together. You have an article about a thing, and the picture illustrates that thing, which in many cases helps you understand the thing better. But on the web, this logic no longer holds, because at some point it was decided that all texts demand a picture. It may be of a tangentially related celeb. It may be a stock photo of a person making a face. It may be a Sony logo, which is just the word SONY. I have been thinking about this for a long time and I think it is stupid. I understand that images —> clicks is industry gospel, but it seems like many publishers have forgotten their sense of pride. If a picture is worth a thousand words, it’s hard for me to imagine there’ll be much value in the text of an article illustrated by a generic stock image.

  • As with so many problems, social media seems to deserve much of the blame for this. Until the mid-to-late ‘00s, a publication’s homepage played a dominant role in driving people to individual articles. Homepages mostly mimicked the front pages of newspapers, where major stories—things that warranted investment in original art—had images. Other stories just got a headline. Over time, the endless space of the internet lowered the standard for which articles needed art, but still, not everything got an image.

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8 months ago
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Comments

I agree. The obsession with images, sometimes images that don't have a genuine connection to the text, is irritating. Also too many images. One can see texts with one sentence,, then a picture, then another sentence and another picture, and so on. Such an article is almost unbearable to read, unless the images are the very centre of the story - e.g. that the article is about art or photography.

Even putting a lead image here sometimes feels exaggerated. Not all articles has a content needing a picture, it might even be impossible to add a meaningful image because there is nothing visual related to the text. I have a way to circumvent that, as you can see if you look at my profile. It is not ideal, but in some instances better than an image that has nothing to do with the text.

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8 months ago

I agree. The obsession with images, sometimes images that don't have a genuine connection to the text, is irritating. Also too many images. One can see texts with one sentence,, then a picture, then another sentence and another picture, and so on. Such an article is almost unbearable to read, unless the images are the very centre of the story - e.g. that the article is about art or photography.

Even putting a lead image here sometimes feels exaggerated. Not all articles has a content needing a picture, it might even be impossible to add a meaningful image because there is nothing visual related to the text. I have a way to circumvent that, as you can see if you look at my profile. It is not ideal, but in some instances better than an image that has nothing to do with the text.

thanks

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8 months ago