The Importance Of Sensationalism In The Media

996 Words 4 Pages
Media coverage is a controversial topic in contemporary society. Racial issues, scandals, and celebrity updates plague television screens on a daily basis. These reports are oftentimes the only way or single source for keeping up with current stories. Having accurate and unbiased sources are the bright line for what makes great news. Although, some critique these outlets of only showcasing stories that grab in the ratings, lack truth, or just sensationalize the truth. Patrick Cockburn, a renown journalist, is one of the few who work in the media who try to expose the truth about flawed coverage, specially with environment reporting. Sensationalism, as defined by the dictionary is, “(especially in journalism) the use of exciting or shocking stories or language at the expense of accuracy, in order to provoke public interest or excitement” (Webster, 2016). The media uses sensationalism as a tool to attract a broader audience. For example, a story could be straight and simple with the facts, but the media will twist events in order to get the public to feel a certain emotion with the story. The appeal to ethos is key to these outlets. If these outlets appeal to the masses, they create more revenue, which then becomes its main focus. From this drive for capital, lies the root cause of why stories …show more content…
Stereotyping, unfortunately, plays a key in these. Oftentimes, the media coverage includes “wrecked bridges, half-submerged houses and last minute rescues.” (Cockburn, 2011). These stereotypical images often portray the foreign as needy or impoverished. This is problematic because it places a savior complex in the minds of many Americans, that all people who are not in the United States are in need of assistance. The media is responsible for placing a false ideology that people in other countries need to live by “America’s

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