The Yellow Truth

Extra, Extra read nothing about it!

Sensationalism, defined by oxford dictionary as “the presentation of stories in a way that is intended to provoke public interest or excitement, at the expense of accuracy”. Sensationalism is timeless, present in a variety of genres within journalism used to exaggerate the truth and spark interest in a topic.

For instance tabloid journalism uses sensationalism to draw attention to a particular story or individual. Miley Cyrus for example a hot topic of discussion across media platforms such as ET Online – May 01 a headline was released “Miley Cyrus Dyes Her Armpits and … Another Area Pink. Decency Is Dead.” It is instances like this were satire is added to a enhance the situation to catch the eye of readers, an article from About News describes sensationalism as the ‘junk food factor‘. “Sensational stories are the junk food of our news diet”; something that is necessary although it is what we desire. Sensational journalism gives us something to read while being ‘bored’, but when being informed of a serious event withdraws the journalistic credibility.

SBS recently released a documentary titles ‘Struggle Street‘, focusing on the western suburb Mount Druitt. While it revolves around the people of this area, some would say it captures the ‘stereotypical’ view of Mount Druitt. In an article from The Age suggests that journalists and documentary makers use their findings and own observation to show an ‘interpretation’ of the truth. Sensationalism creates the stigma of unethical journalism, it not only presents a ‘version’ but it causes the viewer to think in a certain way.

Sensationalism is effective in tabloid journalism where it makes for greater entertainment. Although it is a common issue throughout journalism that causes society to question the ethicality of our journalists, and highlights this idea that journalism presents an ‘optional’ truth.


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