Most of us by the time we have reached our mid teens to early twenties have begun to make a reasonable effort to be informed, know what is going on in the world around us and we can all be fairly opinionated about it. That can be a good thing. However, when our opinions are based on sensationalism, drama and media gossip it becomes a problem.
Keeping up with the news, knowing what is going on in the world around us is important. We need to know, however, action begets reaction. Even something that happens hundreds of miles, even half a world away from where we live has an impact on our own life.
World politics, the weather, volcanoes, an earthquake, a tsunami, hurricanes, major floods, a plane crash or train wreck, terrorism, a massacre of any sort, war, the economy; and even the good stuff has an effect on us and we learn about it through the media but it seems the media has gone crazy.
Sensationalism seems to be the name of the game. Write it so it sells, gets our attention. Do whatever it takes to sell the news ahead of the next guy. Make money. News has become “big business” and no longer just a public service. Writing and reporting the facts, the truth has fallen by the wayside for the sake of making money, being first, the top dog in the media world.
Money, it is said, is the root of all evil and sensationalism sells so write what will sell for the sake of money. Include just enough truth so the drama will be trusted. Media mania is crushing us. We are not being told the truth, getting the real news.
Over the past few years I have noticed gigantic changes in how the news is reported, the way articles are written in the printed news, the body language and how people speak in radio and television presentations and I find it more than a little alarming. Here is why.
Without much exaggeration the majority of what we read and hear leans way, way in the direction of sensationalism, slander, gossip, exaggerations and drama. Somebody is always trying to sell us a bill of goods or a fast way to make a buck on somebody else’s back. That is not news. That is not good reporting. This sort of reporting plays on our emotions and common sense to such a degree that we react in ways that are not beneficial to us as a community. It causes chaos and confusion.
All it amounts to is blindsiding the public, your readers and followers and causing more issues and problems because no one can seem to report the truth without glossing it over with drama and sensationalism, stirring up a hornets’ nest. That is not good reporting. It leaves the public trying to figure out what is truth and what is fiction, what and what not to believe. People react to what they hear and see and often react in a not so positive way and more problems develop. That is not good reporting.
If you are going to write or broadcast the news, get the facts, the truth, just the facts and nothing but the facts; don’t add to it, twist it and sensationalize it. Don’t personalize it. Keep your personal emotions and opinions out of it and if you can’t, then write a commentary, an editorial; write a novel, flash fiction, a short story and publish that for what it is; fiction or personal opinion.
Fiction does not belong in world, national, state or local headlines or even on page three of your local newspaper. Personal opinion belongs on the editorial page and that is the only place it belongs; well, maybe you can put it on your wall on Facebook but even that can be dangerous. It is okay to be original in style but stick to the truth when you are writing or reporting the news, those important things going on in the world around us that affect the lives of each and every one of us every day.
If you are going to write, write it right and that includes spelling, punctuation and sentences that are conjugated correctly. Learn the language and the proper way to use it. This goes for anything you write, truth or fiction, the news, an editorial, a novel or a short story.