Fuller and Capra seem to embrace sensationalism in their films, having characters in both films progressing through the capitalization of sensationalism and in the case of Meet John Doe, even fabricating a story. Fuller a man who lived as a journalist, understood the effect of sensationalism and openly packaged his films to draw attention. Using exclamation marks in the titles of his films like that of the attention grabbing headlines in newspapers. Is it that Fuller and Capra understand the importance of sensationalism in the media to drive stories? Are we as a people wired to pay more attention to these sensationalist stories that serve little value to us? An article on the matter of sensationalism in the media explains that: “sensationalism is unavoidable in news – because we humans are wired, probably for reasons of natural selection, to be alert to sensations, particularly those involving sex and violence.” So is all this natural to us? Is it really the most effective way to get information across to people, by hyping it beyond its current level of importance? While the characters in Park Row and Meet John Doe do get some flak for their use of sensationalism, the fact that they, the heroes are rewarded with that style of news, shows that these directors understood sensationalism as a necessary force in the media.
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