Most people know what's news; most journalists don't...

13 February 2022

Photo: cottonbro, Pexels

This from Elon Musk last week: "Why is the 'traditional' media such a relentless hatestream?"

He went on:

Most news outlets attempt to answer the question: “What are the worst things happening on Earth today?”

It’s a big planet! Obviously, some bad things are happening somewhere at any given time, but focusing relentlessly on those does not give an accurate picture of reality.

So hard to find out what’s going on in the world without being bombarded with news that makes one sad & angry!

I gave a talk to an invitation-only online community last week where I touched on the current trend toward bifurcation of the media between traditional mainstream players and disruptive new platforms.

The major myth I try to dispel is the idea that "Bad news sells". The other myth that I try to dispel is that people care more about emotions than facts.

If you don't believe me, go to your favourite news site, and look at the difference between what editors consider to be their top stories, and what stories are trending with readers.

As I write this, here's what that looks like:


Top story

Top trending


Higher Education Minister reveals R47 billion in funding

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Ramaphosa tells Scopa he has no information on alleged misuse of party funds by the ANC

Kuli Roberts was real, she was raw, but she was not perfect — that's why we loved her


The VBS factor: ANC factions gird for battle

WATCH | Police confiscate gun from drunk KwaZulu-Natal cop seen along the road


SAHRC to probe unresolved Klawer murders

Operation Dudula takes to the streets of Hillbrow

Most people know what's news; most journalists don't.

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