In this essay, an attempt is made to discuss the recent trend in the modern media. Recently, the news papers stressed great emphasis on news items which can be put under the category of gossip news.
The news papers have to perform significant moral duties in the society. One such duty is to give guidance to the media consumers regarding the important and new developments which affect the day to day life of the people. However, it is observed that many news papers and other mediums like television channels have not performed this duty of an ideal journalist. Hence, different media have given great importance to gossip stories instead of substantive stories. The main reason for this phenomenon is that consumers of media have expressed their desire to read and hear more about gossip. In order to satisfy these consumers and in order to overcome the competition from other news papers and channels, the media have given importance to the news stories which can be considered as gossip news.
Obviously, there are differences between gossip and substantive information. Gossip generally refers to the news stories for which there may not be reliable evidence although in some cases there may be direct or indirect evidences. Mostly, gossip is concerned with the persons who have reached the celebrity status. Gossip is also closely related to another phenomenon called hearsay. Usually, gossip is enjoyed by the people because it involves the story regarding the famous personalities whom they either love or hate. However, gossip usually is not relevant for the common man.
On the other hand substantive news refers to the various news items pertaining to the policies of the government, new developments in the politics, economy and society for which one can produce reliable evidences. Substantive news is more serious news, which may not always interest the reader although there are readers who want to read only substantive news. An example of substantive news is the famous news regarding the September 11 attack of terrorists on important American buildings. This was news of substance because it directly touched the life of thousands of Americans. Nevertheless, this substantive news also led to rumors, hearsay and gossips. In such cases, gossips and rumors also may give wrong signals to the people. However, majority of readers would like to read only gossip news items as there is competition between various media forms like news papers and television channels.
In the case of gossip, we can give the example of Clinton- Monica Lewinsky case, which created lot of interest among the readers regarding this particular news item. However, in reality this so called relationship between the two individuals actually did not affect the day to day existence and wellbeing of the people. Such gossip mongers have been criticized by the News Anchor Bradley who suggested that more importance should be given to substantive news instead of gossip. In fact, gossip does not yield any material or spiritual result. Bradley has rightly attacked those people who are hungry for gossip. One can agree with Bradley because personal relationship between two individuals is not important for the economic and political development or any aspect of the social growth. Hence, substantive material should be given more importance in the media instead of gossip.
In conclusion, one can mention that there are significant differences between gossip and substantive material. Gossip is interesting but it is not always useful. However, substantive material is both interesting and useful and it directly relates to the lives of large number of people.