In his Uncommon Law, Alan P. Herbert records a British legal case that concerned the publication of Sunday newspapers. Evidence was brought that "what is called 'news' is always an anti-social and disturbing act; that 'news' consists, as to ninety percent, of the records of human misfortunes, unhappiness and wrongdoing, as to nine per cent of personal advertisement..."
It has often mystified readers of the press that real news is bad news. Good news is simply not news. The ads are full of good news. Good news is a repeat of the old environment, while bad news is a probe into the new environment. Bad news reveals the lines of force in an environment, while good news tends merely to picture the situation passively. Thus the Nielsen ratings in press stories are even more whimsically destructive and sudden than those in entertainment.
--- From #20, "The Emperor's Old Clothes"
Marshall McLuhan Unbound
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