Clickbait is a late 20th-century term that broadly refers to two converging practices in headline construction. One is rooted in news routines: the urge to present a development in clearer, more compelling terms than it would appear with the qualifications and hedges of a full text. The second, rooted in marketing, reflects the interaction of news and technology: the withholding of information (on promise of its imminent appearance) to draw the audience farther into a page or website. These practices have been brought together by the structural transition in commercial journalism from a mass market model to a more itemized structure in which the individual article itself can become the measured unit of value, and “native” advertising, often harder to distinguish from news than traditional ...

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