In some ways the news media is like the internet. Both tend to contain the truth on a known subject somewhere, but the truth is hard to find because of all the misinformation. I did not mean to imply that in the early 1980s that no reporters told the truth about D&D, but that the majority focused on sensationalism.
Now if journalists and publishers desire to be "The National Inquirer" then go for it. But don't then turn around and get upset when people talk about how unreliable and untrustworthy the overall industry is.
Every time I hear or read someone speak about the role of journalism in America being the dissemination of reliable information, I feel like rolling my eyes.
The role of journalism seems to be to acquire more eyeballs.
Your post about "what we want to read" is basically indicting the majority of the news publishing industry to be more interested in pandering than it is in accurate reporting.
In my opinion, this is also the reason that the religious world is in the mess that it is in. Religions tend to pander to the cravings of humans and to preach man-made constructs falsely labeled "God" who indulge the desires of mankind instead of trying to get humans to respect God's right to choose. The saying "Attend the church of your choice" implies that "your choice" is one's god.