If It Bleeds It Leads — Why?
My title is an old newspaper saying from days gone by. It means that if the story is horrific enough then it goes above the fold.
Why does bad news dominate good news? Why is it hard to talk about a 23,000 stock market, but easy for Harvey Weinstein’s salacious sexual activities to take center stage?
Every morning when we wake up we hope some kind of happiness will enter our lives. Then we turn on the radio or TV and North Korea is ready to fire missiles at us, or there’s a hurricane, or a mass shooting.
At the same time anyone who did anything good or heroic they’re relegated to page ten. Why is that? Happiness is kicked to the curb.
If It Bleeds It Sells
News has always been a business. For the first fifty years of the twentieth century newspaper dominate the news.
Almost every city and town across America had a newspaper — some daily, others in smaller towns were weekly.
Today 24/7 cable news brings us every bad thing happening anywhere in the world in seconds. Newspaper is hemorrhaging readers while TV revenue is up.
The new buzzword since President Trump began to run for office is Fake News.
In media’s quest to be first, news is not always verified by the reporting agency.
The practice is becoming more and more common. As long as the network is attracting enough viewers then advertising can be sold for big bucks.
Little regard is given to how often the network is wrong. What matters is how many tune in to digest the erroneous reporting.
We don’t want news — we want sensational. Accuracy is only a secondary perk.
Some Final Thoughts
This practice seems to be flowing into mainstream TV as well. TV is pushing the envelope as to how much they can get away with.
I doubt you can find a sitcom these days that doesn’t have multiple sexual references in it somewhere.
The days of the Hays Code and comedies with twin beds, not kissing for more than three minutes and one foot must be kept on the floor in bedrooms are long gone.
Today’s new saying should be — If it produces income let it bleed as much as possible.