A rare sound drew me to the family room- the angry buzz of a perfectly groomed news reporter (yes, I knew he was perfectly groomed before I saw him; it was something in that abrupt voice). I walked in cautiously (a rare event like this required as many precautionary as possible) to find my silent parents on the couch: my mother once again had a lugubrious air as she sighed over and over again; my father was frowning at the screen, and was muttering things that would make him seem smart and informed.
I gaped at them; since when had we ever gathered our news from a television newscast? I glanced at the screen, and saw that it was projecting repulsive images of dead children, and bombs going off in a distance, and a woman who looked like she was trying very hard to appear grim. The only thing I grasped from my quick glimpse was that she was accusing someone- the government perhaps?
My mother looked up and stated that this is the apocalypse. My father quietly wondered what the world was coming to. The television was now flashing a colorful advertisement for insurance, or mattresses, or some other mundane thing.
A week later, the TV went silent again, and the family room was as abandoned as ever. With no more plane crashes, apparently there was no need to keep up with the news anymore.
I think it's because of people like my parents, who switch on the television to sigh, and worry- who switch on the television for the drama- that the media sensationalizes so today. Anything tragic, that looks tragic, and involves the direct deaths or injuries of people is just as good as any exciting TV series today. Ooh and an added benefit is abusing the government (which was elected by the people). The whole television news media has turned into a giant tabloid!
I think it's because of the fact the news channels now have to compete with the likes of TV series' like Scandal, Game of Thrones, and Devious Housemaids(I think that's what it's called), that they try to depict news so darkly, so war-like, and so iniquitous. People like scandal, and they will only watch something that is slightly scandalous. News channels have to add those sexual, gory, and scandalous elements to their shows to get people to watch them, to get advertisers to fund them.
Media sensationalism is an old story. Actually, it's been hyped just as much as death has been hyped by the media. The way to solve it is what we're supposed to be thinking about.
How can we stop the media from sensationalizing?
Option A. Make people more sensible (highly unlikely)
Option B. Make a news channel that is not for-profit (hence, preventing the whole incentive of viewership bringing in money from advertisers.) Like BBC.
Option C. Make news channels like CNN, and FOX, and NBC use another channel for scandalous TV series' like well...Scandal, and provide unadulterated news. I realize that they all already have side channels, but they simply don't seem to get enough of the drama!
Option D. Balance all the sensationalism by also giving an unadulterated view in another show.
I'm sure a lot of people would watch if they knew that the news they're watching is absolutely trustable too :)