Journalists love crises. Some may think this says something about the character of these folks, and it is true that some journalists are cynics. But there are other reasons that make corporate crises natural subjects for the media.
First, there is emotionality. Corporate crises generate excitement, even if it is largely negative, and excitement easily turns viral, meaning exciting tends to spread fast. Because today’s mass media are turning ever shallower, they tend to value gossip higher than cool-headed analysis, and so they go for subjects that generate buzz.
Also, corporate crises often make great TV, think burning oil platforms and the like. This is what TV feeds on. And because other media often follow TV’s lead, newspapers and even talk radio will seize on crises as a subject.
Then there’s the aspect that reporting on a crisis is a journalist’s chance to prove he is in nobody’s pocket. Bashing a company or digging up unsavory details in a crisis is a way of showing that a journalist and the media he works for are dignified members of the fourth estate. At least in their view.
This has to do with the fact that crises mostly generate bad news. No journalist ever got praised for reporting everything was hunky-dory, so the worse the news, the more a journalist will love it.
So many reasons why journalists love a crisis – after all, wouldn’t we, if we were they?