- 1: empiricism that limits experience as a source of knowledge to sensation or sense perceptions
- 2: the use or effect of sensational subject matter or treatment
- a. arousing or tending to arouse (as by lurid details) a quick, intense, and usually superficial interest, curiosity, or emotional reaction <sensational tabloid news>
Sensationalism is a type of editorial bias in media in which events and topics in news stories and pieces are over-hyped to increase viewership or readership numbers. Sensationalism may include reporting about generally insignificant matters and events that don't influence overall society and biased presentations of newsworthy topics in a sensationalist, trivial or tabloid manner.
Some tactics include being deliberately obtuse, appealing to emotions, being controversial, intentionally omitting facts and information, being loud, self-centered and acting to obtain attention. Trivial information and events are sometimes misrepresented and exaggerated as important or significant, and often includes stories about the actions of individuals and small groups of people, the content of which is often insignificant and irrelevant relative to the macro-level day-to-day events that occur globally. Furthermore, the content and subject matter typically doesn't affect the lives of the masses and doesn't affect society, and instead is broadcast and printed to attract viewers and readers.