There used to be a rule, unwritten I think, that when invited over for a meal conversation should not include any of the above topics. Such rule might simply be good manners for dining with acquantances rather than friends yet heated conversations with acquaintances can lead to friendships.
If today's newspapers (in the UK) adopted a similar rule my initial view was that they would have rather little to talk about - the Arts and Sciences pehaps.
Yet on reflection, many intrigung articles currently lost in newspapers' welter of idle gossip, calumny and detraction would, if the page acreage on scandals was slightly reduced, become clearer. For example today's Independent apart from its usual commentary on the failings of the catholic church to react properly to child abuse scandals, has a piece about an Australian politician on the election trail being stalked by an alleged mistress, one entitled; "A testosterone-filled brain cannot cope with an Oscar winning wife", and another "Srebenica massacre was fault of gay troops". It may be right for institutions like the Church to be made to hold their heads in shame for the reprehensible conduct of their pastors even though some sections of the media seem almost to relish their repeated pilloring. However also in same newspaper if reading fatigue has not already been brought on by wading through the other stuff, is a very interesting analysis and commentary about an art exhibition in France entitled "Murder in the Musee d'Orsay" with some intriguing pictures of talanted artists' works to illustrate the article.
Sometimes surely the achievements of men and women and most of mankind's innate good intentions could take precedence in the media over our failings, weaknesses and actions we are ashamed of.
Economics and politics; given that we are on the verge of a General Election comment and reports about political developments are potentially very worthwhile but again the newspapers seem to relish the negatives more than the positives.
There really is a difficult call to be made between reducing public debt on the one hand and not causing mass unemployment on the other. Both of the main parties have interesting arguments eg increasing taxes and reducing public expenditure or stimulating the economy by pumping money in somehow. Yet many newspapers appear to give more room to articles about Lord Ashcroft funding the Tories or the BA union Unite funding the Labour party than they do to analysing the important questions of how and who best to govern the country in this time of potentially dire financial straits.
The risk is that the media by focussing on the pilloring, the prurient and the negatives rather than highlighting many of mankind's great qualities, the fundamental issues and positives, will leave readers none the wiser - the very antitheis of what good reporting is surely meant to be about?