Negative news needs to put on a happy face

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

I have a confession. I am tired of the negative news lately.

I won’t bother to repeat the things I’ve heard on the news over the last week but suffice to say, it’s depressing. From the economy, to murders and deaths, the drumbeat of negative news never seems to stop. But why is that all we ever see these days? Good things happen around the world every day but it fails to make the six o’clock news. Is it because people are really attracted to all this negativity or is it newspapers and TV newscasts that think this is what we really want to hear about?

Personally, I refuse to watch the news these days, mostly because my local newscasts are entirely negative, with the possible exception of weather and sports. I have no interest in hearing all the bad things in the world because I am generally a positive person. I am not implying we need a fully positive upbeat newscast everyday, but a story about more food aid being sent to Kenya or how a famous movie star is recovering from surgery and not dying from it wouldn’t hurt.

I also feel that negative news has a negative impact on society. What kind of effect does downbeat news have on young children, possibly the same effect that violent video games have? Furthermore, it seems that hearing about crime and death everyday has made the public much more paranoid. Many countries in Africa, are in fact not horrendous places full of gangs and killing sprees, and you will most likely not get raped running through a public park.

Maybe it is necessary to hear about all the bad things happening globally, but it is overwhelming. I would love it if they could balance it with happy-go-lucky stories as well. Maybe they should take a page from the Toronto Star, specifically the page that lists all the local good deeds that have happened recently. Or perhaps follow in the steps of the website called Not So Negative News, which lists purely positive news stories covering all topics and fields. It highlights stories from around the globe including entertainment, politics, science, technology and others.

Personally, I prefer waking up every morning hearing about something that has benefited the world we live in and will probably sleep better at night without listening to the late news these days.

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