When reporting, does the media focus on the "big-picture" or does it provide sensationalist coverage, concentrating only on one corner of the picture?
First of all, there is no such thing as "the media" that all does things in one way. Instead, there are many kinds of media, ranging from TV news to tabloid newspapers and up to "serious" newspapers like the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal. These various kinds of media cover stories in different ways.
Overall, the media tends towards telling stories in ways that are as sensational as possible. The more "serious" media are less like this, but even they try to report in ways that allow for drama and conflict. They like to report political news, for example, by talking about how it affects the "horse race" between the two parties rather than by talking about whether something is good or bad for the country. The media needs to have their stories be as entertaining as they can be so that people will continue to watch or read.
So, parts of the media are more sensational while other parts are more "big picture." However, even the big picture outlets try to be as exciting as possible so as to maintain ratings or readership.