Effects of Media Sensationalism

In today’s society Journalism is a profession which is losing its credibility. One such profession which is under close scrutiny has a deep impact on the audience and reporters. Sensationalism of news is that part of Journalism where a reporter/journalist faces a serious conventional dilemma of reporting objectively and reporting what sells, because sensationalism is all about creating what sells to profit! It has got to do more with a strategist plan of profit making rather than information generation to people. Sensationalism still remains a strong force in today’s media centric society. This type of media sensationalism takes various forms of picture tabloid magazines, celebrity journalism, or the violence infested media known as television and movies. But the bare fact which remains true till date is the fact that it sells. There will be a constant and uninterrupted supply if such unethical journalism is encouraged and their market is flourished.

Over the years, public has depended on the media for its information on current events and it has been their prime source for any general query. Also, these days, people too are becoming less and less confident in the objectivity of the news that is reported. Surveys show that about 80% people believe that sensationalized news receive a lot of media coverage because they are exciting, being equally unimportant. Consequently, the acts of needlessly and uselessly sensationalizing news by the media are their own cause for the demise of their credibility. The effects of sensationalism are very damaging to the public, and harms and ruins the integrity of a profession like Journalism.

Sensationalism affects public in a large way because what the effects of what we see, what we read and what we hear has on our thoughts. Sensationalism leads to developing positive and negative feelings, which direct our actions. Our whole perspective of an issue becomes flexible to be changed; such is the power of sensationalism. It forms a clear cut situation of dilemma for many journalists. Sensationalism sells, and thus journalists do not really mind breaking all the ethical values and principles that the profession, Journalism, was founded on. A responsible journalist is always less attached, and more accurate. They value the difference between opinion and the truth. Sensationalism has destroyed these qualities of a responsible journalist, and thus they get more concerned about promoting themselves and their newspaper rather than providing information about the story covered.

It is pretty evident that sensationalism has become deeply rooted in the media, leaving the public distraught at their loss of credible sources of news, which they once totally relied upon. In turn, journalists are also paying a high price by sacrificing their ethical standards selfishly, succumbing to the temptations of sensationalism just for the sake of some extra money. It is an impossible task to eliminate media sensationalism.  However, the public need to be well advised to actively consider their sources of information. People should have at least this bit of knowledge to discourage and reject those blatantly formed news disregarding objectivity and credibility for shallow glitter.

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About Priyam Ghosh

An ardent learner from events around me; zealous writer, quick learner; currently pursuing Mass Communication from SIMC, Pune.

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