News outlets have one primary goal – that is to get as many people to consume their news as possible. This doesn’t mean all journalists have the same goal, but certainly the business of journalism is clear. The more people a news organization has consuming their content, the more valuable the entity becomes. How else can you explain the disparity of unearned media for Donald Trump versus other Republican presidential candidates?
At one time, people demanded credible, fair stories. In today’s environment, there is a lot of competition for news outlets and they now differentiate with entertaining, sensational content. This makes the news that we watch today unrepresentative of our world around us.
We have Americans more afraid than ever while crime rates continue to drop. If there isn’t enough violence in a community, the tendency is to use violent stories from other communities.
The radio talk shows and the 24-hour news programs allow people to filter their content to just those that match up with their views, further restricting our natural propensity to empathize or take interest in understanding those different from us.
I know personally that watching or reading too much news distorts my perspective on the world. Enough is enough. So, I’ve decided to limit my daily consumption of current event news from all channels. I will stay informed but I will not let the interests of news outlets dictate my interpretation of the world around me.