I don't think it should be legislated, and the problem really is that the society is curious. The media is largely driven by the desire to gain eyeballs at any cost.
I don't see society stopping to provide the eyeballs so the market is gonna be there and gonna be huge. However I do think that journalism should pursue such standards and greater awareness of their societal impact.
Thing is, there are outlets that maintain such higher standards. I barely see any of this sensationalism (I see it mostly second-hand) because I avoid sensationalist, popularity driven journalism.
So the more people that do the same, the better. But most people will not, and thusly most of the media will pander to the lowest common denominator for the eyeballs if they have the choice, and because we need a free press they must have the choice.
It's up to the society if they want to give their eyeballs to an outfit like The NYTimes or a shitbucket like CNN. I advocate higher standards in journalism, but it too is a small part of the problem and largely symptomatic. The root of the problem is that we are fundamentally curious about these things and that attention is a commodity that is highly sought. The rest are symptoms, and I advocate that we treat the symptoms as we can, but with the realization of the proportional benefits we can have (that is, with a free press there is just some degree of shitty journalism we will always have with us).
Still, when journalists steps over the line it's good to call them on it when we can. This last week in Australia it happened with Channel 7, they had a huge backlash at their overaggressive selling of misery (see: https://www.facebook.com/JusticeForLinda
And when you notice your news source panders for views (easiest signal is fluff stories that have no real import) consider ditching it (hard to do if you want local tv news, there is little to no good journalism on tv).