Saturday, September 12, 2009

Blood sells

People always wonder why the news is filled with negative imagery. You never see anything like "Litter of puppies is born on 4th street, mom and pups doing great!" Instead you see shootings, stabbings, news of people losing their homes, being robbed and raped.
Why would the Media as a whole run these sorts of stories? Because they get far more viewers.

On this blog, Wednesday 9/9/09, I posted on "The Ongoing Project."
That post (if you haven't seen it already) contains several graphic images designed to depict a teenage suicide.

This morning I checked my stat counter for the previous week. Here's a graph counting the hits I get on a daily basis.
(Green is page-loads, Blue is unique visitors, Orange is returning visitors)
On Wednesday, I got about triple the average number of hits. In addition to the few who follow this blog via RSS feed or make sure to check it every day, the blog is posted on Facebook. All of my 300-some friends can see whenever I write a blog post. Only when the forefront image is a girl who has apparently bled to death do I get a large number of hits...

If I wanted to gain more viewers, get more hits, and thus be able to advertise on this blog, the easiest way to do that would be post gory images all the time.
Now, I'm not going to do that. Partly because shooting stuff like that really takes it out of you, and partly because that isn't who I am as a person or as a photographer.

Think about how much blood/death sell. It isn't the fault of the Media at large; all they're trying to do is make money. It is our fault as the consumers. If we responded the same way to positive news as we do to bombings (by watching/reading a lot of news), the Media would happily focus on the positive rather than the negative...
... Right?