Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: Sensationalism and War

Monday, February 11, 2008

Sensationalism and War

"Newspapers are made to sell; and for this purpose there is nothing better than war. War means daily sensation and excitement. On this almost any kind of newspaper may live and make money. Whether the war brings victory or defeat makes little difference. The important thing is that every moment may bring important and exciting news - news which does not need to be accurate." (Godkin)
The media has fueled the fire with sensational stories and have used times of war to increase ratings or sales. When it is not war that is being sensationalized, its the latest disease or natural disaster. We have since passed the times of yellow journalism, but the news stories about death, blood and fighting still intrigue the public and catch our attention. The news today may not be as biased, misleading or distorted, but they certainly still are sensationalized and exaggerated. What ever happened to just reporting a story?


Blogger A. Mattson said...

A good quote. Yes there is still sensationalism even though we no longer live in an era of "yellow journalism." There is also good reporting today, much better reporting than during the war of 1898.

While the commercial media are very concerned with higher ratings and profits, war often brings out the best in journalism as well as some of the worst. Good reporting can be found in the elite mass media, especially if you know how to search the web with a critical eye.

2/18/2008 10:10 PM  

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