The old saying for news networks was “If it bleeds, it leads”. I would often hear them called “ambulance chasers” as well. Both still apply, but in today’s world it’s more fitting to say “If it divides, it presides”. The 24 hour news channels, as well as the network news, love to divide us and create controversy where little exists. All for ratings sake.
I noticed this at the airport recently. All sorts of people with different backgrounds, nationalities, and view points, all traveling together and getting along. The 24 hour news channel is blaring loudly at every departure gate doing everything it can to place a wedge between me and the person across from me and beside me. Shock. Controversy. Debate. Division. Yet it all boils down to entertainment. The real news we need to know is forsaken because it doesn’t bleed or divide quite enough.
On my recent trip to the Dominican Republic, I didn’t watch any news program or morning show for five days and it was a wonderful respite from getting the smut and grime all over me. I haven’t turned it on since returning. I have to make an extra effort to seek out genuine news reporting, but the time is worth it.
News, like politicians, could bring us together more than create division. We’d still have our differences of opinion and debate, which is healthy, but the view would be clearer and hope could actually prevail.