I think is started as back as colonial era. You should know that media in general are driven by negative news and activities, otherwise they will be out of business.
For example if a man comes out and start telling people how he loves, cares, kisses, looks and appreciates his wife. The question that will pop up in people's mind is "And so what?" But if news read that I certain man beat, abused, molested his wife, and stab his neighbor this becomes head line and people will buy or listen attentively.