The Three Fractions of the Public’s News Preference

When Allan Stuart reaffirmed that news from the streets will be favourable, I should have just agreed. Since it is disappointing to prove that, to some extent, mass media has succumbed to the public’s preference of news coverage. It was a pity to discover that the audience prefer to peruse bombastic headings with shallow content and popular events. It was also inevitable to observe that the audience prefers to discern less informative broadcasting shows. However, the worst fact to witness is the press chose to utilise this preference for profit by keep publishing the similar news content. So, gone is the noble intention to preserve professional journalism. But really?, has journalism walked too far into the public’s moral decay? Would frolic, scandal, satire, and felony become newsworthy?

In the advent of citizen journalism where everyone can be a journalist, it is an affirmation that journalism will be losing a track. Later in the future, the media will function simply as “news” casters rather than news portals since what matters is what the public wants to hear and listen to. Virtue, culture, history, and educational information will be limited or even suppressed. As public, in both seeking and absorbing news, will only fall into three categories or three fractions.

The first fraction is a group who prefers to unfold the papers to read news about felony and misdemeanours. Human nature celebrates bad habits. However, ever since morality is created as a system to control our human nature, we learnt to restrain our instincts. Subsequently, we keep this profound longing to behave badly and find solace reading scandalous stories, news about murders, assault, or defamation. Deep in the mind, this group members question, depict, and imagine how it feels to be part of these stories. Furthermore, libel against a public figure is consumed and gains a lot of attention. 

The next group who won second place to suppress media coverage into the public’s preference was the one who is misled by denial. In his book Inferno, Dan Brown cited that denial is a critical human coping-mechanism. Additionally, in neuroscience and human biology, denial is considered as an ability that enables humans to survive evolution. All efforts mankind did to protect the future generations, to preserve the environment, and to develop technologies were the endeavours to deny mortality. Nevertheless, what is happening with denial today and in regards to the news is that some people refuse to be aware of the reality and instead, indulging their penchant by staying in their comfort zones. Instead of discerning the impending global warming or famine, they prefer to watch reality shows and infotainment. No surprise if the prime-time is dominated by infotainment rather than world-wide events covering international issues. 

Then, the last one is those who are ungrateful with God’s design. This group is a bunch of people who would share or impart information to their like-minded fellows about how God is misunderstanding their identities. Seeking protection in the contemporary philosophy and the bill of rights, they demand freedom to fight for what they believe is right. They utilise the notion of human nature or freedom to justify their deviation from the social construct. Hence, it is not surprising when subversive movements, community events or digital forums are crowded with these group members and as a result, their actions are widely exposed in public. A story of an individual got through his personality transition will find its way to the front page or magazine cover due to a significant rise in audience number. 

This is how the media landscape is shaping as I see it. News about someone saving the Earth from degeneration will probably be deemed as unbecoming to read. Cultures and education will be skipped to the next pages where gossip is written to a great extent. Humans after their triumph to smash all the challenges to become civilised, will just let their brains ruled by their instincts that serve them with ephemeral excitement.

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