One of the topics that stood out to me in our reading was bad news. Studies have shown that men are more drawn to negative news, while women are more interested in positive news. The biological explanation for this is that it is in the male’s natural response to detect and investigate something negative to be able to protect their offspring, while females are naturally repelled to it for the same reason.
Journalism has always been a male-dominated industry. Men would determine what was news and how it would be covered, and women were more directed towards “soft news”. But is news about gender anymore? Or is it more about shock value? Headlines usually focus on murder, treason, scams, and illegal activities. The advent of social media has democratized the ability to create and share information, yet we usually see our friends (and ourselves) sharing what is commonly known as “downers”.
Generally speaking, society becomes less violent with time, yet the news becomes more pessimistic. Why is that? Do we need to learn about bad people so we know what kind of dangers are out there? Do we need to read about misery so we can hold our kids tighter at night? Or do we seek for injustices in the world just to tell ourselves that it could be worse? Sometimes it feels like negative news becomes a part of the discourse only for people to have a “legitimate” instance to be full-blown judgmental.