The Media and Tragedy


Whether you click on or turn on or scan through your daily news update, it’s probably undeniable that the way in which that news is covered makes your head hurt, or your stomach churn, or riles up your anxiety. Of course it does, it’s designed to do just that. News stories don’t just inform us about a hurricane or a shooting or some awful tragedy, they use words and visuals selected for their ability to evoke emotion. Emotional connections keep us glued to whatever media we’re consuming. And consuming more media for longer periods of time is how most media companies generate more revenue. But what toll is this overly-hyped, overly-dramatic news reporting taking on our personal psyche, or our national psyche for that matter. How does it aid or hinder our actual understanding of the news? Guests Lauren Kogen, Media and Communication Professor at Temple University, and Ellen Gray, the television critic for Philadelphia Daily News/Inquirer/Philly.com join host Sherri Hope Culver to discuss how the media sensationalizes tragedy.

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