Econsultancy’s Patricio Robles responds to criticism of coverage of the Chilean miners’ rescue this week. Some journalism academics called it “a story about journalism’s failure”, but is this negativity part of journalism’s problem, he asks.
While nobody is suggesting that the news media blind itself to the world’s ills and injustices, one should consider that part of the news media’s dilemma is how you sell a product that is often filled to the brim with negative stories – crime, tragedy, political squabbling … The irony, of course, is that you can only sell so much bad news. At some point, people get tired of opening up the newspaper to read about a politician who cheated on his wife and didn’t pay his taxes, or turning on the television and seeing images of “suffering at home.” And let’s not forget about Lindsey Lohan. So what do people do? They cancel their newspaper subscriptions, and they skip past CNN when channel surfing.