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Price of selling death: Media obsession with negativity

 The advent of covid-19 has seen a barrage of negative news which is then covered by media houses. This article will cover the selfish ways companies have used covid-19 to their advantage.

The second wave of Covid-19 has been disastrous and much worse than what the country faced last year. The news of mass cremations has shaken the country; these dark times have resulted in a number of state governments declaring lockdowns as a preventive measure to contain the out-of-control situation.

Amidst these crises, the news industry is experiencing a strange phenomenon where negative news seems to be dominating the news cycles.

This is backed by evidence that viewers consume negative news more than positive news, this becomes evident looking at the current scenario where the world is facing a major pandemic crisis and negative news seems to be dominating the mainstream news.

This is a major issue since studies have shown that negative news affects one’s mental wellbeing as negative news is known to cause anxiety, stress, anger, etc.

Funeral Pictures in high demand

As of this writing, the pandemic is at its peak in India and continues to rise, this is being followed by thousands of deaths occurring every single day which has caused a health emergency, during these testing times, news media has been dominated by coverage of Covid-19, hundreds of thousands of news articles are being published every single day covering the suffering of our countrymen.

This increase in news related to Covid-19 and Covid-19 related deaths has seen the stock images of customary Hindu funeral pyre being sold on famous stock image websites. Stock photographs are the supply of photographs that are often licensed for specific use.

These images are used as a way to “shock” their non-Indian audience. American company ‘Getty images’ host multiple of these images which are available for any potential media group to purchase. The large versions of the images are priced at Rs. 23,000.

Cost of staying ahead in the Media Industry and the appeal of negative news

The advent of Covid-19 has revealed the darker side of the news industry which constantly focuses on deaths and misery bought on by the pandemic.

While it is true that millions of people have died because of the pandemic, the situation is being used as a way to sell news by covering only the negatives, the situation has gotten worse as media houses compete to outdo the other in order to gain viewers and higher ratings.

This is especially concerning when taken into account the mental health of viewers who are bombarded with a barrage of negative news. This also causes stress among the families of those who have lost loved ones during the pandemic as media teams rush to crematoriums and hospitals to cover stories which they believe the viewers would watch.

This is based on studies that show that negative news evokes more emotions in human beings than positive news; the news media houses add harrowing pictures of videos of the incident being covered in order to transfix their viewers in order to keep hooked.

Covid-19 has claimed over 2 lakh lives in India and the media industry continues to push boundaries in order to get the perfect negative story they believe would sell and gain them viewers.

The advent of the pandemic has shattered lives of the ordinary people, it has also revealed the negative aspect of the news media industry, with preventive measures being taken by the government to contain the virus, there is hope that the crises will soon be contained and people would be able to get back to their normal lives, however, it will force news media industry to find new negative ways to sell their stories.

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