In response to Christopher Mele’s article: Fatigued by the News? Experts Suggest How to Adjust Your Media Diet
What even is breaking news anymore? Mele describes the “barrage of breaking news” as “the latest thing we have to show you.” Breaking news does not have to be specifically happy, or sad, or even important; it just has to be relevant.
With the power of the internet, news is being reported 24 hours every single day and it is inevitably unavoidable. You can’t open your phone, your laptop, or walk down the hallway at school without hearing or seeing “breaking news”.
In class the other day we had talked about Beyoncé’s baby announcement, and how it had been splashed across every social media platform for a couple days. A lot of people love Beyoncé, but a lot of people were offended that this was considered “news”. With all of craziness happening across the world right now, was this really the most trending thing? Who really cares that Beyoncé is pregnant with twins…
The truth is, Beyoncé broke a new record that day for the most liked Instagram photo ever, currently sitting at a little over 10 million likes. Whether you like Beyoncé or not, that is pretty impressive. Whether you like Beyoncé or not, that’s communication related news. For those of you who haven’t seen it:
Further on in the article, Mele talks about “negative news” and “positive news”. He describes how news outlets tend to pull on the emotional strings of their consumer audience and “negativity is emphasized to keep customers engaged”, but there are just as many viral stories that pull on my positive emotional heartstrings. Here’s one for example that has been covering my Facebook newsfeed:
Although people find comfort in only reading positive news, avoiding negativity is not the answer. After the shooting in Quebec, I had a professor who had mentioned she wishes she was still a kid so she didn’t have to hear about all of the sad things happening in the world. However, if we filter the news to only see the positive, we become a society of cheerful robots, people who are unable or unwilling to see the social world as it truly exists (Ravelli & Webber). Without the “negative news” in our world, there is never room for sometimes (most times) necessary cause for change. How can we fix the problems if we are ignoring them?
Ravelli, B. & Webber, M. Exploring sociology (1st ed.).