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A Look At The Centre Daily Times’ Shameful Descent Into Clickbait

You won’t believe how pathetic these headlines are!

Clickbait is the scumbag journalistic art of using sensationalist headlines and social media captions to entice readers into clicking on your stories in an attempt to generate page views and advertising revenue. In other words, the goal of clickbait is to throw accuracy and integrity out the window to only focus on getting as many people as possible to click on your story.

Buzzfeed has been notorious for its clickbait headlines in the past. Sites like Daily Mail and TMZ are relentless with it. Now, it appears State College’s own Centre Daily Times is following suit.

Headlines and social media posts are supposed to tell the reader the nature of the article. There’s nothing wrong with using attention-getters in a headline to motivate the audience to read the full story, but deliberately leaving out information to force readers to click on the article is just deceitful.

So, let’s take a look at how the CDT has employed clickbait over the past few months…it may SHOCK you:


They “have done this.” Done what? If you give in and click on the article you’ll learn that they haven’t increased taxes for residents.


The wheel route. The play is the wheel route. Penn State runs the wheel route a decent amount every game.


What did they find? A bunch of really cool middle schoolers vaping in the bathroom?


“Is the sentence [that we purposefully left out of the headline] too lenient?” I’m not a journalism major, but if your story is about someone being convicted and sentenced for dumping a dead body on the side of the road, it seems pretty nonsensical to neglect putting the sentence (the entire purpose of the story) in the headline and caption.


This headline is straight off a pop-up ad from a sketchy website, right next to “There are hot singles looking for YOU in the State College area!” And what’s worse…


…they did the same exact thing for Patton Township five days earlier.

I wonder if CDT knows it would probably get more likes if it said that doughnut shop is Peace, Love, and Little Donuts?


Oh boy, another unknown thing that is “something to smile about!” Is it about taxes again?! Nah, the surprise was finding the Big Ten East and Big Ten Championship trophies, and some roses in his office one morning. Surprise, James! You know, in case James Franklin had forgotten about winning the Big Ten Championship and getting the Rose Bowl bid.

What “system?” Who is Susan? Is that her crying? Who was screaming?


…Is that a threat, CDT?


“It started off as a normal traffic stop” and it ended…
A) As a normal traffic stop
B) With an arrest for illegal possession of a firearm
C) Like something out of Bourne Identity
D) In a low-speed police chase featuring the entire LAPD and a white bronco


“Have you seen this mouth and beard?” Is CDT trying to help police find a fugitive or the frat bro it made out with at the Gaff last night?


Mmmm. “Products.”


Hooray another headline from our local newspaper that looks like it belongs on a pop-up ad for fake supplements with ridiculously exaggerated claims! The nutrient is choline, by the way. It’s in eggs.

This is DEFINITELY a headline the new store “New store” is going to want to hang up on its wall!

Maybe this isn’t clickbait per se, but CDT just said “Fire up the comments” on an opinion story about going to church, so I couldn’t not include this. And speaking of church…

Did the Centre Daily Times really just say ski instructor-Jesus has “PTS-Tree” after getting skewered by a tree branch? Anyway, back to the clickbait…


Oh yes, the “hit-reply-all” dream. My favorite dream.


This “headline” could be about literally anything from a puppy jumping out of a box to an unexpected pregnancy.

For the love of God, CDT, quit teasing me and cut to the chase to tell me why Americans aren’t doodle-bopping on the daily in the headline. TELL ME instead of ASKING ME why there’s been a sharp drop in folks bringing an al dente noodle to the spaghetti house.


Centre Daily Times, if you’re reading this, please don’t take it personally. It’s just that your headlines and social media captions are really, really bad. It is the job of news outlets to inform — not trick and tease with clickbait headlines, uninformative captions, and purposely leaving out information.

You’re journalists. Stop using clickbait.

About the Author

Alex Bauer

Alex graduated in Spring 2018 with a major in Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship. He was a first generation Penn Stater from Cheshire, Connecticut along with his two sisters. His favorite things are dogs, coffee, and dogs that shoot hot jets of coffee out of their mouths. If you are Mad Online™ about something Alex wrote on the internet, you can send him threatening emails at [email protected], or harass him on Snapchat and Instagram @TheAlexBauer.


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Penn State Hoops Gets Iced Up For NIT Title

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