What is Yellow Journalism and Why is it Dangerous to Society?

Yellow journalism is a practice that is unfortunately very prominent in today’s fragmented media. It has always been an issue, but unlike days of yesteryears, yellow journalism has been able to crop up its ugly head in ways that can seriously polarize a crowd and even change the reality of the situation through believed perception of the events.


So what exactly is yellow journalism and how does it rear its ugly head?


Yellow journalism is the practice of telling and writing news stories with a perceived bias. And contrary to popular belief, this is not always a bad thing. For instance company press releases are often written in a journalistic style but they are absolutely biased in promoting the welfare of the company that press release represents. Typically, this is pretty innocuous.


Where yellow journalism becomes a real danger is when it is coupled with real news and world events that can have drastic consequences. It often frames the article in such a way where the reader will be left thinking in a certain form. Many websites, especially hard leaning political websites, make use of yellow journalism on a daily basis manipulating their audience by telling white lies and mixing truth in with various falsehoods.


Sometimes it is completely blatant yellow journalism that is very easy to spot unless you are already loyal to the media company or site publishing the content. Since loyalty allows blindness to settle in, many people end up being led to and fro by pieces of yellow journalism or sometimes better known as straight up propaganda.


One easy way to tell if you are reading a publication that is using the awful (and in my opinion immoral) yellow journalism to disguise itself as an objective piece of news, is by looking at the headline. Is the headline telling you how you will feel or is it reporting news?


For instance, a headline like “What He Did Next Will Sicken You” (just replace the word “he” with whatever political candidate you want), is a classic blatant yellow journalism tactic. It is literally juxtaposing a newsworthy influencer such as a politician and telling you that you will become sick, disgusted or at least annoyed with whatever action the man has taken.


In an election cycle, this yellow journalism becomes even more dangerous as it lowers itself into slanderous articles. It is a hard thing to avoid especially in topics that are so heated and passionately subjective on so many various levels.


However, it should be avoided at all costs or at least decried as not real journalism.


If you feel you might be subjected to yellow journalism, it is best to take your news from several different sources. Preferably, take the news from sources that traditionally conflict with each other in their perceived “bias”.

Fox News is an example of a Republican or Right-wing leaning news network for example and MSNBC is often compared to being a Left-wing leaning work. By comparing both articles on the same story, you might be able to gain a better picture of the full truth. Also, instead of watching video clips, attempt to watch the whole video relevant to the news story that has not been edited for TV or a certain media channel to prevent yellow journalism seeping into your world.


This blog post is sponsored by Milton Tree Care.