In his “Are We Home Alone?” OpEd today New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman says “I’ve never talked to more people in one week who told me, “You know, I listen to the news, and I get really depressed.” I feel the same way.
It’s something I’ve wondered about for years…why people are willing to accept a constant barrage of bad news? And not just recent Chicken Little reporting about the economic meltdown, but the endless reports on murders, shootings, natural disasters, bombings, etc. Not that we should ignore the real state of affairs in the world, but if you read any newspaper or watch the nightly news it would appear that we live primarily in a chaotic and violent universe with little to be hopeful about. And there is a fundamental (some would argue unhealthy) bias in presenting a primarily “we are doomed” worldview.
So maybe it’s time for some good news? Literally, media outlets specializing in hope and inspiration as a mainstay. Or a section of the regular news called “the good news”. I know you probably won’t sell as many newspapers by replacing a headline like “Bomb blast in Mosul kills 50” with “Teacher inspires 3rd Grade class to help family in need”. But I have a hunch there is a sizeable appetite and market for good news even beyond the current period of national despair. You only need to look at the massive (and lucrative) businesses built around positivity gurus like Tony Robins, Eckhart Tolle, and Wayne Dyer to see the revenue possibilities. Oprah’s TV and follow up online interviews with a diverse group of positive-oriented spiritual leaders in January of this year attracted a global audience of millions. And these weren’t even well known or mainstream religious icons.
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Can folks suggest others?
I wonder how negative reporting in the U.S. compares with that of other countries, and how that reporting impacts the national psyches of respective countries? Has anyone ever done a study of this?
Maybe mainstream media could benefit from a little pick-me-up, benefiting both our collective mood and the bottom line? Like many I can’t wait for a little good news.