Negative News Gets Attention: Who Knew? Err. Everyone in TV News

March 21, 2023

I love academic studies. I have a friend who worked in television news in New York before he was lured to the Courier Journal’s video operation. I asked him how news was prioritized. His answer: “If it bleeds, it leads.” I think he told me this in 1980. I called him and asked when TV news producers knew about the “lead, bleed” angle. His answer, “Since the first ratings study.”

Now I know the decades old truism is — well — true. No film at 11 for this insight.

If you want a more professional analysis of my friend who grew up in Brooklyn, navigate to “Negativity Drives Online News Consumption.” Feel free to substitute any media type for “online.”

Here’s a statement I found interesting:

Online media is important for society in informing and shaping opinions, hence raising the question of what drives online news consumption.

Ah, who knew?

My takeaway from the write up is basic: If smart software ingests that which is online or in other media, that smart software will “discover” or “recurse” to the “lead, bleed” idea. Do I hear a stochastic parrot squawking? OSINT issue? Yep.

Stephen E Arnold, March 21, 2023


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