How to Stay Ahead of Fear-Based News
By: Jenn Langdon
Anchorman was and is a brilliant and still oft-quoted movie, but the follow up, Anchorman Two: The Legend Continues, was pretty much terrible. It’s a messy movie with several plots and subplots happening at once. However, Anchorman highlights one important thing, and that is the advent of sensitization and dramatization of our news.
Just a couple decades ago, broadcast news was a show that aired two or three times a day, and that was essentially it. There was no 24-hour news cycle, there was no craving to be on the top of the ratings pile, to garner the most clicks and no dozens upon dozens of competing news sources.
The media and also politicians have found something that sells consistently, and that is fear.
We now live in a fear-addicted society. And that has never been more toxic and obvious than right now. Every time I turn on the TV or read the news, or hop on social media, I face a barrage of things that are pure, unmitigated fear. It is true that a lot of the things facing our society are quite scary and completely new territory. However, unfettered fear is dangerous, and it is our responsibility as citizens to not give into fearmongering. A society controlled by fear is a slippery slope into unbridled chaos.
A recent example of this is the great toilet paper rush of 2020; people all across American flocked to stores to purchase all of the toilet paper we could get our hands on in reaction to the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic. There was no fact-based reasoning behind this mass rush, just panic-induced shopping.
Another problem with fear-addled news and social media postings is that this allows misinformation to rear its head causing more chaos, division and reaction. With the advent of the internet, anyone can quickly gain a platform to spew whatever thought that springs into their head and spread it among millions.
It is crucial for businesses, brands and entities to track and address misinformation and fear-based stories that concern their area of expertise. By utilizing tools such as social media monitoring, you can stay on top of what is being said that needs to be addressed, keeping you ahead of fear and misinformation.
If you want to learn more about how Newz Group can keep your business ahead of fear and misinformation, contact us today!
Jenn Langdon is the Business Development Director at Newz Group. She has been a contributing writer to the Sedalia Democrat and The Kansas City Pitch.