Has News Become a New Form of Entertainment to People?
According to a recent poll, the majority of American adults get their news from TV, and only 26% use print newspapers. However, the web has increasingly attracted readers, and two-thirds of U.S. adults get their news from the web. Even among those who use print newspapers, the web has overtaken the TV, which remains the primary medium for news. Among the two-thirds who read news, the web has been the most popular place to get it.
There are several reasons for this trend, including the fact that televised news shows are generating record numbers of viewers. The rise of TV and lobbyists have resulted in an increase in the number of actors who appear in news stories. The result is more conflict and less attention to news as a whole. Some journalists even try to take a comedic approach, or “tweets” to convey their ideas.
In the early 1980s, the media environment was changed drastically. Technological innovations increased the availability of information, while growing conglomerates of media companies and the proliferation of cable channels created competition for audiences. Newspaper readers and viewership declined significantly. With a shrinking audience, major broadcast networks and newspapers tried to find new ways to remain relevant and profitable. This is how news became a commodity, and it has remained this way for a long time.
In the same way that the media’s attention-grabbing nature may cause the public to believe something that is not true, the news itself may be harmful to their health. In a recent study of the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, researchers found that people with high stress levels were five times more likely to suffer from cardiovascular problems in the following three years. Interestingly, the news itself was linked to these problems, independent of their prior health.
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