Let’s Cure Addiction To Negative News

By JOHN M. DERBY
TIMES PUBLISHER
November 2, 2017

A friend commented in passing, “We have become addicted to negative news,” and it stuck like a thorn.
Is this the reason that we watch nine stories on television — all about crime, shootings, and car accidents — and rarely do we see a story with a happy ending?
We have noted on the national news that they are now feeling sorry for us, and usually end with one “warm and fuzzy” story which makes you smile or laugh.
We have tried to counter all the negative news with our local “Power of Positive Press,” but we have a difficult road ahead of us. So many people have turned away from news.
Our young people look the other way as they seek out entertainment. They have been numbed by the constant bombardment of negative news, to the point where they withdraw into their cell phones, and plug into Facebook where they can pick and chose what social commentary they want to read about.
On Facebook we see mostly positive news about our families and their families. Pictures of trips and smiling faces; babies and weddings are what people want to look at. There is negative news on social media, however, and when it happens it can go viral.
We wonder if there is any cure for this addiction to negative news. Can we stop the news media from pumping this material directly into our home?
Perhaps someone could invent a TV device which would automatically sensor the news and switch to music when the car crashes and shootings start. There are channels on TV which feature films for the whole family.
Can you remember the last political story which praised our politicians for doing a good job? No, the two political parties are like two chained bulldogs staked only feet from each other and put on television for our amusement.
We are not amused. The happenings in Washington are an insult to our democracy. Policy is not being made by joint decision but by refusal to join in deliberation.
And when the battle in Washington is not at the top of the news, then the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq take center stage. The media give us a break when hurricanes hit and wipe out the rest of the negative news.
While our hearts go out to the people who suffer in these storms, there are occasionally one or two stories of remarkable heroism or the saving of an animal which takes center stage and we get a chance to smile or tear up.
Our message of the “Power of Positive Press” is but a small candle in the darkness crying out to the media giants who continue this addiction.
“Stop feeding us non-stop negative news. Take the time to seek out the thousands of stories about the good deeds which are being done every day and everywhere on this planet.”
Stop our addiction, and let us know that there is a better world out there than is being painted on the easel of life.
Our life, our community, our people are more than this, better than this.
We want a true picture.


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