What They Want or What They Need.

I thought Group 11 brought an interesting idea to the table with their question, “As journalists, are we supposed to give people what they want, or what they need?” As we texted in our answers, I found it really surprising to read the responses people were sending in. A lot of people said both, which was the answer in my brain, but I still thought it was interesting. What if we had to choose one or the other? What if both wasn’t an option? What if we had to write based on what the people wanted OR based on what people needed to hear? The problem with that is that people have very definition of needs and wants. What our class ended up deciding and discussing is that Journalism is the ability to find the happy medium and be able to write for both needs and wants. I feel that both are essential in balancing out journalism and keeping a consistent audience.

A Community Media Workshop tested out the difference between need and want by trying to write an article that combined both terms to find the perfect balance for readers. They called it the “New News”. They brought up the sixth sense we must have as journalists, which is the ability to ask so what? This was cool because it brought my attention to the fact that so what, need, and want were all kind of related. The so what? applies to anyone and everyone watching, listening to, or reading the news. It is the big idea, why it matters, and why we should care. Those are also why we pay attention to things that we both need and want, so we can fulfill our curiosity and find satisfaction in the big idea.

In this future of the media blog, they give a biased opinion that we should give the people what they need. They state that the most important priority should be giving people what they need to hear; things that are relevant in their lives. They had strong points, but I still believe it is important to have a mixture of both. When you don’t present both needs and wants, someone will always be frustrated. Giv the people important information that is going on, but also give them things that will keep them loyal viewers. This doesn’t mean that journalism has to become entertainment, it just means that usually, most people can’t handle straight need. This point is illustrated well on this social media blog where the author talks about how celebrities are turning news journalism into entertainment journalism.

Overall, it is important to remember to give the people a little of their needs, and a little of their wants.


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