Beware of stories with strong Narrative-Market Fit.
My inspiration for this idea comes from Silicon Valley, where investors look for Product-Market Fit. Founders tinker with product ideas until they eventually catch fire and start growing fast. And when the puzzle pieces finally click, founders say they’ve found Product-Market Fit.
Media narratives are governed by an analogous idea: Narrative-Market Fit.
It happens when a story reflects the zeitgeist, and specifically, what media consumers are thirsty to hear.
Just as companies with Product-Market Fit are more likely to be funded, stories that reflect the zeitgeist and serve readers what they want to hear are more likely to be published. When a narrative is hot, writers are incentivized to focus on them at the expense of important but less popular stories — and sometimes, the truth. Instead of fitting the narrative to reality, they fit reality to the narrative.
The media runs on narratives because hot narratives usually sell better than truth.
So whenever you read something, ask yourself: “Does this story have Narrative-Market Fit?”
The more it has, the less you should probably trust it.