How the Media Decides What’s News

by Devanshu Mehta

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This morning, I found Natalie Holloway had returned to the front page of CNN. This afternoon, I find a story on NYTimes.com by Brian Stelter about the Independent Film Channel’s new show ‘IFC Media Project‘ which explores, among other things, how certain stories make it to prime time.

“People love to hear stories about tragedies,” Mr. Garrison tells the producers, sitting in his office, a framed copy of a People magazine cover saying “What Happened to Caylee?” on the wall. “It’s like eating a potato chip; you just can’t stop.”

Cable channels presented almost 900 reports about Caylee in the first 12 weeks after she disappeared. “During that time, approximately 100,000 other children were reported missing,” the program observes.

The show hopes to look in to the military “analysts” that show up on the news programs who have clear conflicts of interest and how advertisers influence which stories get covered. The show will be hosted by Gideon Yago, who younglings may remember from MTV News.

Note: The IFC is advertising on the same page as this NYTimes.com article. Ironic?

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