Sensationalism in the News

Netanyahu Blasts Kerry’s Speech as Biased Against Israel.” This was an actual headline by a national news source. I am not complaining about the story. What I am complaining about is how the media sensationalizes headlines that distract from what actually occurred. For example, Netanyahu did challenge Kerry, but he didn’t blast him as the headline claims. Rather the headline should appropriately read, “Netanyahu finds Kerry’s remarks unacceptable” The media today is responsible for providing an accurate portrayal rather than disrupting diplomacy based on its loose interpretation. I would like to see our media stop trying to be like a Jerry Springer Show and return to journalism. Today the media is only trying lure the best tag line to keep circulation trending and popular with its readership.

When I read ESPN and see a headline that reads “Panthers Annihilate Falcons” I usually get a chuckle under my breath. If you read that headline, you would literally think there are bodies all over the playing field with scores of medics on hand providing triage until they can be medivac out of the stadium. We have become so immune to colorful and over the top language that words like annihilates or terrorist attack seem rather calm to our language base. If you want to watch me roll my eyes and shake my head, then let me read a headline that says, “Bombs Continue to Level Aleppo Syria.” This is where I draw the line of practical journalism. You can’t level a town that has already been leveled. Again, journalistic methods are not providing critical thinking or an accurate picture of what is going on. Again, we have become so desensitized about war, terror, bombings, drones and air strikes that our language has become remorseless.


Another problem for journalists versus the media is that journalists rely on a written column while the media relies mainly on its camera abilities. Personally, I take more trust and credibility in a single journalistic newspaper than an entire media crew. My reasoning behind this is because journalists seem to have a better grasp on credibility and trying to interview both sides to provide a bigger assessment. American media outlets appear to lean towards whoever speaks in front of the camera and of course, will run the story if the opposing side refuses to comment. The media develops its audience public opinion. What makes matters worse is the headline that will immediately appear on the media website. Again, you will see, “Neighbor Suspected of Rape” when the story only paints one side of the allegations and smears a person all over the airwaves even if nothing becomes of the allegations. You can’t take away the destruction claims and poorly used sensationalized headlines. Moreover, journalism is not intended to do harm to people. It should be a way of documenting the facts rather that suspicions. But the media likes trends, and so do we as viewers.


Perhaps for the sake of credible and truthful journalistic standards our nation should take a step back and stop trying to be the first on the airwaves or social networks for breaking stories. In fact, I detest breaking stories because most are not relevant to my public safety. Instead, the media has taken what was once a level of national importance and degraded it to ensuring it would interrupt programming to spread entertainment features that further deteriorate and heedless credibility in the media.

Author: Dwayne Daughtry

“You’re punching, and you’re kicking, ​and you’re shouting at me / I’m relying on your common decency?" I tried to become vegan (it was the worst 6 hours of my life), Executive Director - NCRSOL, State Representative (NC) - NARSOL, Legislative Consultant, Blogging Columnist, Army veteran, Arizona State alum | B.A. Organizational Leadership | M.S. Political Science | Ph.D. student Criminal Justice

2 thoughts on “Sensationalism in the News”

  1. yes. lol. what did they expect to find in a gun shop? donuts? hehe.

    it is frustrating that CNN, the last vestige of journalistic integrity, was the biggest culprit in smearing Clinton’s name via the ’email-gate’ crap… that last batch of emails that the FBI released HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH CLINTON… that was involving another ongoing investigation – and I honestly struggle to remember what the investigation was over… every single headline made it look like CLINTON was under scrutiny… and if you read the story, you’re like, “What the heck?” There’s a statistic somewhere I saw recently… something like 85% of people DO NOT READ PAST THE HEADLINE. *ahem*

    Maybe we should remove Adverts all-together? From all public (press) media? In Britain they had the TV tax to cut down on ads… maybe that would work better? hmm…

    Btw… did you read my posts on news bias? I did a 4-parter, is your news biased. this is the really fun one though, because it’s a REAL news story:

    (enjoy!) 🙂

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