This smacks of functional journalism. For the most part this is not the type of thing that is being written for the struggling MSM. They need eyeballs and that means either stroking popular attitudes or stoking outrage all liberally laced with clickbait. In fact most of what passes for ‘news’ is clickbait.
Yes there was once a time when MSM was three TV networks and two city papers in each city over 300k population. There were also rules on TV about saying things that were purely political and probably not true and claiming them as news at 6:00 and 10:00 PM.
Things have changed. It’s called a paradigm shift and we are struggling to figure out what that means and the new rules that go with it. That is going to take a while and I’m fairly certain that most of the remaining 20th century sociopolitical structure is toast. The pieces are coming off in our hands and that is frightening much like climbing into your car and having the steering wheel come off. Your initial reaction is to set there holding the steering wheel looking stupid. You may even try to put it back on. After a few minutes you realize that is just not an option and do the only thing you can and go take the bus.
Literally the steering controls for the media have come off in our hands and we don’t have any idea what to do except to, stupidly, try to put it back together again. It is both comic and tragic.
This is going to take a lot more work. There are major structural problems some of which are unique to the US. Radical capitalism has no place in social management of information. Where once a few media companies could be lightly monitored and told to follow the rules and don’t lie we now have everyone as a potentially viral news source. The competition with no rules has eliminated everything but predatory capitalism and the old media system is has not time for anything but dollars.
Create a bozo presidential campaign driving eyeballs with outrage and no holds barred idiocy and you have the end of any governmental policy replaced by authoritarian sport. Those are things with sex, outrage and blood. The Roman coliseum with death matches was entertainment for the Roman Empire not the Roman Republic.
This is not simply a case of having to fix things. This is a case of building a whole new way to organize and manage our societies. We are being distracted by the part of our population that likes blood and idiocy. We need to get them contained and eliminate the extreme capitalism that sacrifices everything to profit and, hence, will feed the wrong part of the population with anything that attracts them. That simply does not work in the networks and virtual world in which we now live. That’s just a start.
And, I really must say, you titled this well. It is a problem of religion because religion, as it exists in the world now, is a major problem. I distinguish between old religions and the new, emerging, models of spiritual health. Mythology and demands to the susceptible masses to believe lies is exactly what power hungry opportunists take advantage of when the paradigm breaks. The surviving, imperial religions have almost completely disappeared in functional societies. Parts of America are throwbacks to the 19th century in that.
That is an entirely different paradigm break.