“Yellow Journalism is a type of journalism that presents little or no legitimate well-researched news and instead uses eye-catching headlines to sell more newspapers. Techniques may include exaggerations of news” This term was coined to describe the “circulation wars” between newspaper titans William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer in the mid 1890’s, but it is relevant today to describe the ratings battles between television news departments today. While this is a trend of long standing, it probably reached its hysterical acme because of 9/11 and the reporting in its’ aftermath. In this respect media criticism is warranted not so much on the basis of the facts presented, but on the hyperbole with which these facts are presented. The knife attack in London was a horrible thing, but then again, murderous acts involving many innocents are hardly unique in the world, or in individual nations. The devastation and destruction of 9/11 was enormous and large scale, involving two of America‘s premier cities. It was a singularly major happening in the annals of modern terrorism and left most of us with a sense of dread in its’ wake. As tragic as it was, this tragedy in London doesn’t compare as an act of devastation, nor as an occurrence that will paralyze the British in fear. Yet to ingest the TV news headlines, one would think that Great Britain was a country in a free-fall of shock and discombobulation. Below in less than 2.5 minutes, John Oliver a Brit, demolishes the media” excess of reportorial hyperbole and presents food for thought on how the doings in the world are reported to us.
Since I am on a John Oliver kick, here is his take on Trump withdrawing from the Paris environmental pact.