Since he's left the craft to write books, Fuller has spent some time studying neuroscience and the ways in which the brain is stimulated --- by information, among other things. His essay for Nieman Reports, a small detour from his latest book on news, implores journalists to learn more about brain function.
After all, he notes, the audience is now going to control the news business. Even though many journalists shy away from feeding the more impulsive elements of the audience, the truth is hard to ignore: People want certain things.
"So the choice is not between giving people what they want or what they need. The challenge is to induce people to want what they need," Fuller writes.
Journalism needs not only to adhere to its standards but develop a new rhetoric, he proposes.
"Serious journalists must understand to the very essence the minds that make up this audience in order to know how to persuade people to assimilate the significant and demand the accurate. Anything less is the neglect of our most important social responsibility," he concludes.