When journalists over-hype their stories in the hopes to get more viewers or advertising numbers, this is called sensationalism. There are numerous tactics to do this, like failing to reporting certain elements of the truth, purposely being controversial, engaging emotions, acting out to gain attention, or even intentionally being dull-witted.
Sensationalism was seen all the way back in the Ancient Roman times in the Acta Diurna, as well as a teaching mechanism for moral lessons in the 16th and 17th centuries. It began as a way to bring the news to those in the lower classes who did not have much of a need to fully understand politics and economy. It actually encouraged them to further educate themselves and take more interest in the news, causing the news to hit more of an audience.
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