If you often read the news, you'll know that the world is full of corrupt politicians, perverted priests, rapacious bankers, racist college students, disasters and armed terrorists. The world is not a good place—at least, according to the latest media reports. It is a view I firmly believe in.
It is not that bad things are the only events that happen. Maybe journalists are attracted to reporting bad news since sudden disasters look more compelling than some other slow-moving developments. Or it may be that they believe that annoying reports of corrupt politicians and unfortunate events make up for simpler stories. However, another strong possibility could be that we, the viewers or readers, have trained journalists to emphasize these things. We hear many people say they prefer to read about good news, but is that actually true?
How good news is balanced with bad news within media houses
News values, also so-called news criteria often determine how much prominence is given to a news story by a media outlet. Decisions on the prioritization and selection of news are usually made by editors according to their experience. A variety of internal and external pressures influence the journalists' decisions on the stories covered, the emphasis given to them and how these issues are interpreted. Most often these pressures can lead to unethical reporting or potential bias.
Giving audiences the news they find interesting as well as achieving relevance is an important goal for the media outlets striving to maintain their market share in this rapidly evolving niche. Due to this, media organizations have become more open to audience feedback and input. The media organizations therefore apply and adopt news values which attract and keep audiences. There is no distinct difference between good news and bad news, and much like beauty, the difference is in the eye of the beholder. In this case the viewer or reader.
The rapid growth of interactive media on the internet is quickly changing the traditional distinction between the news producer and its’ passive audience, and could in future lead to the redefinition of what 'news' means as well. As does the role the news industry which plays in our society.