Summary - Why Does Sensationalism Sell?
Title: Why Does Sensationalism Sell?
Author: Eric R. Olson, Life's Little Mysteries Contributor.
Publisher: Life's Little Mysteries, TechMediaNetwork.
Date published: 25 October 2012, 06:12 PM ET.
URL: http://www.lifeslittlemysteries.com/110-why-does-sensationalism-sell.html [Accessed 16:33 22/01/13].
Summary of online article:
The short post questions why we have a natural attraction towards sensational stories. It goes onto cite numerous findings, including Shankar Vedantam, Hank Davis and an unnamed Dutch study. It concludes that journalists must fabricate their stories with a balance between our lust for sensation, but also our limit of disgust.
- It's possible that our innate hunger for "sensational stories" is an "...evolution-driven..." desire, as found by blogger for The Washington Post, Shankar Vedantam.
- "...regardless of the time period, stories about death, injury, robberies and murder dominated the front-page headlines."
- "...the degree to which we like stories drops off when they are too emotionally charged."
- "The challenge for journalists... is to find a 'sweet spot'... it arouses people's emotions but not... overwhelms the audience and they no longer wish to keep reading or viewing."