Let’s talk: Why must it bleed to lead? 3

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With the nature of news turning to real time, socially served fodder for people’s curiosity, it seems the old adage of the newspaper editor “if it bleeds it leads” is becoming more powerful than ever.  But do you think we’ve taken it too far?  Could our incredible fascination with horrifying news stories be driving copycat crime and inspiring bad behaviour more than ever before?  And would changing the voice of media to a more positive frame change the way we think about our country, circumstances and opportunity?

Ariana Huffington has this week commented that news outlets need to get away from this mentality of “if it bleeds it leads” and ensure their coverage has the full context of the story, not just the horror and drama around sections that will make something click-bait or headline grabbing.

“We need to move away from the idea that the world is absolutely going to hell in hand basket,” Huffington told a room full of US media buyers at the AOL Newfronts at 4 World Trade Centre.

“We of course continue covering the crises, the problems, the disfunction but we (at Huffington Post) want to show our viewers that this is not all that is going on in the world.

“To fulfil our mission as journalists we need to give a full and complete picture of what is happening. This means going beyond the tired idea of ‘if it bleeds, then it leads’ that dominates so much of our news and has led to some much copycat crime.”

Ariana Huffington is launching a series of purportedly positive columns about “finding solutions to the world’s problems,” the idea of which seems inspiring and insightful for news media, instead of just trashing the status quo in papers.

But today we want you to have your say… What type of news do you want to consume?  Are you looking for the good in the news media or the dramatic stories?  




Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. I would really like to see more factual reporting. I am tired of current over dramatization of situations that often should be reported on once then dropped and I wish we could put forward positive stories and better role models

  2. I think it is just what the media think we want rather than what we really like. Listening to other friends, many of us are over the over sensationalising and just switching off.

  3. Ibelieve it is about language, there is not a news cast goes by that I don’t sit and ridicule the use of negative overstated language, It is also reflective of the inability of the reporters to string two words together that make sense.

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