In his text “Three Lies to Rule By” Gore Vidal mentions that writes are expected to “write about what the readers already know about” and not impart anything completely new to the reader. This idea of only writing about something that is familiar can be tied in with the thought that the general populace requires “dumbed-down” information from the media. This paper aims to look at the phenomenon of “dumbing-down” information and the reasons for this practice and also whether it is preferable compared to in depth journalism.
First of all it is necessary to observe the history of the word. “The idea originated (c. 1933) as slang, used by motion picture screenplay writers, to mean “revise so as to appeal to those of little education or intelligence”.” (Wikipedia 2012). This practice was of course done in order to spread the viewership of the film or play in question. Nowadays the process is used in much the same way, except that it…show more content… This seems to be in fact the case, as Mick Temple mentions on his 2006 paper “Dumbing Down is Good for You“: “The mass popular papers, with a more ‘user-friendly’ approach to the coverage of public affairs, have helped to create an informed and engaged citizenry and arguably still do” it is nowadays much easier for the average citizen to find information regarding a wide spread of topics, in large because of the access to newspaper online sites. These sites offer easy to comprehend summaries, with links in to longer articles for the users who require more detailed information. It is this mixture between shorter summaries that incite interest that are then followed by detailed articles that makes reading news sites on the internet so easy for everyone. While in the past people have had to read long detailed newspaper articles, they are now given access to nearly same information in a much shorter