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Punch, Vanguard Top Nigerian newspapers resort to click baiting for traffic

Punch and Vanguard drag their names to the mud with click baiting headlines.

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Vanguard's click baiting headline play

Vanguard's click baiting headline

(Vanguard )

In the pursuit of traffic, it is not uncommon for news sites to resort to click baiting.

While this is a fact of the business, it is always disheartening to see respected news sites to stoop so low to get traffic.

Today, respected Nigerian newspapers Punch and Vanguard published a click-baiting story and this move can be described as a tasteless effort at luring viewers to its sites.


The websites of both newspapers published the same story with obvious misleading headlines. "Buhari undergoes penis surgery" and "Buhari undergoes corrective surgery to repair penis" were the headlines on Vanguard and Punch respectively.


Considering the fact that the health of President Buhari has been a burning topic in Nigeria, publishing a story like this with click-baiting headlines is irresponsible.

Punch shamelessly click-baiting play

Punch shamelessly click-baiting

(Twitter )


The story has nothing to do with the President. The subject of the story is a nine-month-old baby who had his first surgery after his step-mother cut off his genitals.

Vanguard click bait play

Vanguard click bait

(Twitter )


Punch and Vanguard knowingly did this because the story is a News Agency of Nigeria story. However, NAN ran with a more responsible headline "Boy undergoes first corrective surgery to repair penis."

NAN went with a more responsible headline play

NAN went with a more responsible headline



In this time of fake news, it is sad to see respected journalistic institutions behave like soft sell magazines and knowingly mislead the public all because of traffic and views.

Nigerian journalism isn't exactly the best of the best but this event is an all-time low. The health of President Buhari is a sensitive issue but Punch and Vanguard decided to act irresponsibly because they wanted their Alexa ratings to be higher.

Journalistic standards have fallen to the point where newspapers such as Vanguard and Punch join the bandwagon of hungry bloggers to post nonsense.

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