breaking news - bad news sells better

Redefine Newsworthiness

Share on Facebook9Share on Google+0Tweet about this on Twitter0Pin on Pinterest1Share on StumbleUpon1Share on LinkedIn0Email this to someone

Bad News Sells Better

According to most online sources, a story is considered newsworthy if it meets these

general criteria: impact, timeliness, prominence, proximity, the bizarre and extraordinary,

conflict, significance, human interest. These are considered objective values of

journalism.

But how objective can they be when the mass media is driven by the marketability of the

news story and the profit motive. In the light of this, some of the above guidelines may

not be as objective as they are deemed to be, especially the last two. By what yardsticks

do the media houses determine what is significant and of human interest?

Bad news and sensationalism is solely considered as being of human interest. Consider

this when you surf the news channels tonight and open your newspapers tomorrow. Do

the stories leave you with a positive feeling that the world is a good place or does it have

the opposite effect? The news media actually paints a negative picture of life as we see it,

especially with the lengthy and repeat telecast of sordid events and gruesome images.

For those who are spiritual, think of the negative energy that this kind of coverage

generates on a global scale. The stories indeed may be significant, but how they are

presented and the length of the coverage are not directly proportionate to the actual

significance of the event.

Shaping Public Opinion

This raises another question. Is it the job of the media to blindly cater to the animal

instincts of people? Just give them what they want so that they keep watching the

growing commercials and reading the press advertisements? Or do they have a role to

play in shaping people’s mindsets and providing alternate news that can also benefit

society?

But they can do this only if they circumvent the maximum possible profit ideal. The

media can provide a much-needed platform to sportspersons in other fields apart from

cricket. They can also play an important role in popularizing those sports. After all, there

is a lot of repeat coverage, which can be given to under-celebrated events.

There are many positive news stories out there, if only you search for them. Just

google ‘positive news’ and you would be surprised at the number of newsworthy positive

stories that can be of extreme human interest. The media needs to first retune its mindset

that bad news is more “saleable”, and that sensationalism can only be profitable. Not only

is the mass media neglecting their true calling, but are also missing out on other lucrative

opportunities.

Share on Facebook9Share on Google+0Tweet about this on Twitter0Pin on Pinterest1Share on StumbleUpon1Share on LinkedIn0Email this to someone

Comments