News is nothing but fact-based entertainment
(well, except when they report lies
). Advertising rates drive network content
, and these rates are determined by ratings and demographics
. Ratings are obtained by a combination of marketing and fufilling viewer demand
Ask the average man or woman which event would make them more upset: (1) they spill coffee all over the inside of their car, or (2) an earthquake kills 300,000 people in Turkey.
You'll quickly realize why some stories make the news while others do not. Most stuff does not directly affect the viewer. Gas prices and cute little kids getting victimized do have direct effects - financial and emotional, respectively.
The news is as obligated to keep you informed as South Park is to make you chuckle.
It also helps us drown out the truly important stuff which might be nagging at our souls. Questions are easier to deal with when you're given the answers.