A lot of people via social media and texts I’ve been getting seem to be falling into a group of people who are not critical consumers of the news. When I say that, what I mean is: do you always believe everything you read? Do you ever fact check claims that you hear about or read? Do you ever question the source of the information? The answer, for many Americans (and people around the world) is no. The human mind is trained to crave and seek out negative news vs. positive news. It’s why newsletters like Good News and Reasons to be Cheerful compilations are put together. It’s also why media companies, seeking to make money, will be more likely to have click-bait-y headlines and over report/cover bad news vs. happy news.
How do media companies make money, you ask? Well, there’s two major revenue streams: a) ads and b) subscriptions. Not everyone requires a subscription, but with ads, this is pretty much universal. How do media companies get people to click ads? You have more sensational headlines and stories that will attract them to read the articles by clicking into them, thus getting exposed to the ads. The user clicks on the ad, and boom! Money is made for CNN, Fox News, and the New York Times.
That’s a bit depressing, right? Well, it is to me. It’s why I discount a lot of headlines I see about protestors majorly being violent, looting stores, breaking into cars and store windows. Yes, looting is happening, but it’s the minority of all protestors. I know based on the way media works and thrives that these are the outliers. The vast majority of protestors are peaceful, trying to make a point and fight for human rights. Don’t let the media brainwash you into thinking all protestors are violent, or even half of them are. This could not be any further from the case.