It is the unusual that is news. Dog bites man? Rarely reported. Man bites dog? Guaranteed a big run.

The BBC’s Roger Harrabin has distilled this phenomenon of what you hear most often being what happens least into the following law:

“When considering societal problems over the long term, news-worthiness is often in inverse proportion to frequency. If problems become commonplace, they are not new – so do not qualify as ‘news’. This means the media often guides politicians to focus on less serious acute problems at the expense of more serious systemic problems.”

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