Media fluff (or media padding) is the name given to the phenomenon among many news organisations of giving disproportionate air-time (or in the case of newspapers, column space) to news stories that are usually regarded as trivial or inconsequential. Media fluff is most prevalent among 24-hour news television channels, that often find themselves struggling to fill air-time in a competitive "infotainment" market.
The concept of media fluff is explored in the book It's Not News It's Fark: How Mass Media Tries to Pass Off Crap as News, in which author Drew Curtis describes specific patterns in news reporting - generally among television news.
Sections of the book showcase examples of media fluff, including:
- Media Fearmongering, whereby "scare stories" are used to attract an audience's attention
- Unpaid Placement Masquerading as Actual Article, in which news stories advertise a product or organization
- Seasonal Articles, which focus on recurring articles published the same time every year
- Media Fatigue refers to stories examined and exhausted past their relevance