But, in reality, the concept of the dilution of news in favor of entertainment/sensationalism began formally with William Randolph Hurst in the late 1800's. Hurst realized that it you put a photo of a car wreck on page one more newspapers were sold. And his newspapers thrived and beat the more conservative newspapers of the time. And now with the advent of the internet, social news outlets, and cable news, along with the networks, the truth becomes difficult to find.
For example, the recent election and the run-up campaign, focused on the "shoot from the lip" candidate because it was "entertaining". And the ratings went up for all of the sources as Trump defied convention and the words seriously and literally became meaningless. So, he got free coverage, news outlets made money, and the important news of the day was relegated to page two or deeper. So. despite the fact that we have more access to information than ever, we are treated to sound bites, fake news, and talking heads who have no clue as to what they are talking about. These pundits are filled with opinion and speculation.
While it is clear that most news outlets are financially driven, they are also agenda driven. Whether it is left, right, or center, news providers have a message to carry. That is generally a fact of life. And we always have a group of politicians who have a simple job; don't answer the question and deflect serious journalists from getting real and substantial information.
So a budget that may gut essential services, bills to reduce safety regulations, are passing while house and senate hearing are forced to investigate the latest twitter allegation. So, it becomes a search for some semblance of fact and trying to determine which information is simply a shiny item.
It seems to me that is has become a case of "due diligence" and requires comparing information from several sources to determine what is real from what is opinion and speculation. And, perhaps more significant, we have to look at information that does not simply reflect what we think. I find that it is more difficult than ever to find accurate and timely information that will chart our future but it is worth the effort to dig for the closest thing to the truth.