Understanding Fear Based Media

Investors should recognize that news is intended to be a money making industry.  Instead of simply reporting the news in a straight forward manner, most media reporting has morphed into editorials, with an emphasis on the spectacular, the stirring, and the controversial.  The emphasis is no longer on getting the facts right, but rather, a race to be the first, get the highest ratings and attract the most advertising.

The need to get the story first, to get the ratings, often causes reporters to bypass thorough fact-checking.  After all, you can always walk back errors and misrepresentations at a later date, often somewhere on page 19, or the broadcast equivalent.

Some of the thoughts expressed above are partially based on the article, “If It Bleeds It Leads:  Understanding Fear Based Media” by Deborah Serani Psy.D.

All comments and suggestions are welcome.

Walter J. Kirchberger, CFA