14 Dec Let’s make 2013 a year of good news
I lost faith with life in the media’s news agenda a few years ago, deciding to leave my life as a news editor behind.
It wasn’t that journalism on a newspaper was not rewarding, but the longer I worked in the news media I felt the way that many papers go about their business was just morally wrong.
I had worked on a Midlands based paper and more often than not there wasn’t a great deal of earth shattering news, leaving us on the news desk scratching our craniums as we became more and more inventive trying to eek out tales worth reading.
It’s worth bearing our jobs were about one thing- simply to make the newspaper sell! This is the sole purpose of all newspapers.
It is only when you are doing that job that you realise that the huge amount of tomorrow’s fish and chip papers are almost exclusively bad news.
If you don’t believe me, when you look at the headlines tonight see how many stories are good news. You will be lucky to find more than a handful.
It speaks volumes about the negativity of the public, and probably mankind, that we buy into this misery.
It’s been known a long time. I was told that bad news sells on my first day at Journalism College. However, with the media so powerful I can’t help but feel there is some social responsibility of the bosses to start giving us a more balanced perspective on the events that shape our lives.
For instance the Jimmy Savile affair, whilst being horrible, is only being given such focus due to his celebrity. But sadly it is over analysis of this and similar tales of gloom that creates the fear that has us gripped. It’s total madness.
I mean, I’ve been raised in the 2nd biggest city in Britain and here I am now in my 40s and I’m yet to know anyone who has been murdered or raped. I had to be streetwise in my youth, but despite that I’m not aware of many people having suffered much beyond burglary, car theft, or receiving a punch in the mouth from the pub thug.
However, if I allowed my young children in the park on their own the general perception now is it would be mad as there are paedophiles galore on the lookout.
We live in a country of 60 million plus people, but boringly and reassuringly most people lead law- abiding lives, where staying an extra 20 minutes on a parking meter is the height of the week’s criminal action.
So let’s all call out for more balanced news- a news where there is good, bad and neutral, where the economy isn’t in total meltdown, swine flu won’t kill you, and most dangerous dogs are at least muzzled.
Next time the news is on, lighten up, keep a tab on the negative yarns and don’t let the bad stuff into your mind. You will feel a lot better without it. Only by rejecting these morbid messages will we start believing maybe the world isn’t so bad after all.