How to create a teen news story

Photo by sucklead via Flickr (creative commons)

As someone who watches teen fads and reads teen research blogs all the time… here’s my little tongue-n-cheek guide to creating a sensational teen new story:

  • Find something mundane that most kids do, hopefully related to sex. Let’s say “Hickies.
  • Apply a new label to it, so that parents think it is somehow more intense and scarier than the hicky they experienced as a kid. “The super hicky.”
  • Apply a catchy version of the word, “the sicky– the so-called “super hicky.”
  • Label “the sicky” as an increasing problem among teenagers.
  • Start highlighting and looking for any and all news stories involving teenagers and hicky’s to highlight the dangers of sicky’s.
  • Find a teenager who died in America with a hicky. Then hypothesize that it could have been tied to a sicky. Even if it isn’t true, it will give the story legs.
  • Mention sicky’s in unrelated news items. “Two teens were injured in a car crash after the football game, we talked to the officers and it appears that sickys, the so-called super-hickey, were not involved in the accident.
  • Quote some so-called experts on this problem. “In my office, I’ve seen a sharp increase in patients reporting complications caused by super-hickeys.
  • Create a bogus chart showing rapid increase.
  • Find a celebrity with a hicky and make them the culprit. Photoshop it in if needed. (Shout out to TMZ and The Soup)
  • Any time there is a news story involving teens in a bad light, insert the term sicky. Attach it to a particular group of teens so they can become ostracized for alleged involvement. “The sicky is particularly popular among teens who have read the Twilight series.”
  • Sit back and laugh while municipalities create laws, schools create rules, and youth pastors preach about the ills of the sicky. Wait for the talk shows to talk to kids whose lives have been ruined by the sicky.
  • All this for a completely made up, normal activity of teenagers.
  • And we fall for it every day.

By Adam McLane

Kristen and Adam live in Ahwahnee, California.


  1. I knew a kid that died of a sicky hicky. The doctors said that all the blood from her body formed around the super hicky and the girl exploded. True story!

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