In general, the media likes to publish exclusive news reports. In the pursuit of an exclusive report, news reporters often invade the privacy of their subjects or violate victims of crimes a second time. In order to make the headlines and boost their sales, journalists will do anything to catch the latest sensational news. Their lack of professional ethics begs the question, “What is the meaning of this approach to journalism?”
On the other hand, some ethical journalists follow a different code. They refuse to publish tragedies, such as stories about someone jumping off a building or into a lake. Though dramatic stories like this increase paper sales, by not publishing them, they will prevent copycat behavior, preventing a negative trend in society.
Such events occur on a daily basis. News on politics, finance, culture, education, arts, medicine, or the local community should all be covered in a newspaper. Yet some tabloids choose to only print improper information, such as gossip, sensationalism, and tidbits on the private lives of celebrities. Information like this should be treated with caution, as this information will harm peoples’ minds.
Readers these days have different preferences. Some like international news, as it gives them a broader perspective of the world. They look for global channels. Others prefer local news, as it focuses on their own community, directly affecting their personal well-being. They enjoy news about well-known movie stars, familiar political figures, or local infrastructure projects. In addition, there are reports on the weather, the stock market, human-interest stories, and cultural activities. All these directly relate to their personal gains and losses.
Unfortunately, the focus of the media is often on homicides, robberies, arson, or events that are of a more sensational nature. Many people complain that when they turn on the television or look at the newspaper, all that they see are felonies, car accidents, domestic violence, or other appalling news.
Everyone blames the media for its sensationalist approach, not realizing that their own desires contributed to this social trend. Furthermore, those who like to do the finger pointing are often the same people who love to read these negative stories. If there is a demand for sensational news, the media will continue to dig it up. Such reports only serve to pollute the good nature and minds of the general public. The effects of this can be worse than taking drugs.
So what is the meaning of exclusive news? Media workers should consider this question carefully.