Monday, 2 January 2012

Does Media Thrive on Sensationalism

The scenario of commercial industries such as media, IT, hospitality and likes is highly competitive. The adage “Strike the iron when it is hot” is one of the key secrets to survival in the current dog-eat-dog world. Media is no exception. Sensationalism is the new-age success recipe in the field of print and digital journalism.

Both digital media and print media are neck-and-neck in competition for a lion’s share of the market. Print newspapers are engaged in a rat race for increasing their own circulation. Advertisement is the chief source of revenue for a print media house. A newspaper needs to extend its circulation in order to get more advertisements. Evidently, print media sensationalize news and serve it as a spicy dish for the readers to feed on. 

Digital media is steps ahead of print media when it comes to practicing sensationalism. Television news channels or digital media companies are racing against each other at a break-neck speed for higher TRP. Sensationalism is the only way out for them.

What is sensationalism in the media world? It refers to emotionalizing news to appeal to the soft corners of human minds. It is somewhat akin to emotional branding. Or, to say precisely, sensationalizing news is adding to the excitement or hype around an interesting or shocking event.

At present, media sensationalism is running high centering round the fire incident at an AMRI Hospital in Kolkata. TV journalists are using their camera lens to capture and print journalists are using their pens to write on the pictures of damage caused by fire and the public outcry against the hospital authority.

Every news channel and every daily is dishing out stories focused on the angst and anguish, grief and grievance of the victims’ families. Such news stories rich in emotional elements click with the audience. To some extent, it is necessary to highlight the pictures of public outcry against the at-fault authority, so that the responsible may taste the bitter fruit of its unjust action. Sometimes media sensationalism takes a toll on the emotional health of readers, though.

Peepli Live produced by Amir Khan is the latest and best reference to how media thrives on sensationalism around a poor farmer’s plan to commit suicide.        


jomelyn sayangda said...

Media Sensationalism..yeah this is very true,, it is indeed happening. A tropical cyclone just hit our country and the media is sensationalizing the events. As a viewer, I cannot avoid to be irritated for some reason that these media people are taking advantage of the depressing situation to get more viewers and actually makes me feel to doubt on the credibility and reliability of their report. Its like they are making their own movie out of the situation, they are making it worst, adding their reports with emotional and some acting skills. Can't they just deliver it in a simple manner, not an emotional like reporting-- for the situation itself is very depressing..leave the emotions to us viewers.

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