So What Is 'News' Really?

Remember that old song from the Hedgehoppers in 1965?….

It's good news week

Someone's dropped a bomb somewhere
Contaminating atmosphere
And blackening the sky..

Not old enough to remember the song? No problems - it was a protest song commenting on the media's obsession with bad news! (full lyrics below) - 
Well it seems not a lot has changed in almost 60 years has it!

WAR - COVID – MURDERS – SEXUAL ASSAULTS – DEFAMATION CASES and more!...

To their credit the ABC’s online offerings do in fact have a ‘Good News’ link.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/good-news/

And they do post some great ‘positive’ stories there on a regular basis.

So what is this ‘obsession’ with bad/dramatic news e-v-e-r-y single day? – Why are we (or the news networks actually!) so besotted with the bad stuff happening around us?

My wife Kaye Browne was a well-known award-winning radio/TV journo/newsreader who reported first-hand on some of the most jaw-dropping, horrific stories you could ever imagine.

I mean… imagine being told by your boss you have to ‘door-knock’ and interview a family who have just learnt their (son/daughter/husband/wife) was recently murdered or killed in a car accident!! In some cases, these families had only just learnt of the murder with barely a few moments to grieve or not at all!!

I’ve used the expression before, but it seems… ‘If it bleeds it leads’ still stands strong today.

And sadly current research is showing an increase in cases of anxiety, depression and more – especially in younger people such as young kids and teenagers due to how and where our news is delivered.

So what’s the solution… if there is any?

Well I guess ultimately we do need to know about ‘the bad stuff’ at some stage. No good being in the dark about what’s happening around us – that’s ignorance…, but is there a way to ‘lessen the impact’ of the potentially ‘shocking’ news… particularly for younger viewers/listeners/social media followers etc…  and present it in a way that is a bit more ‘matter of fact’.

For instance, global warming is potentially a ‘big issue’ but the way the future is presented by most mainstream media is that the blame for the current situation lies with ‘boomers’.

Maybe… maybe not. But what about a more POSITIVE approach. Eg; … ‘this is the situation… here are some possible ways to fix it… what do you think – let us know?’

And while you can’t easily put aside a major issue like the assassination of all those poor kids and two of their teachers in the recent USA primary school massacre in Texas, perhaps presenting it in a way that is slightly less ‘graphic’ can at the very least ‘soften’ the impact particularly for younger viewers.

Hard to do??… absolutely!

News is news. I get that. But HOW it’s reported has a big impact on the recipient.

And as I noted earlier, we do need to need to be kept updated on what’s happening in our world, I’d love to see a more ‘empathic’ approach that lessens the mental impact on way too many people right now.

Would love your thoughts too 😊
____________________________________________________________
© 2022 – Brian Pickering

SONG LYRICS & Video – It’s Good News Week © Jonathan King – Hedgehoppers Anonymous
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AglW6QpmPp8

It's Good News Week
Writer: Jonathan King

It's good news week
Someone's dropped a bomb somewhere,
Contaminating atmosphere and blackening the sky

It's good news week
Someone's found a way to give
The rotting dead a will to live, go on and never die

Have you heard the news? What did it say?
Who's won that race? What's the weather like today?

It's good news week
Lots of blood in Asian hell, they've butchered up their sacred cow,
they've got a lot to eat

It's good news week
Doctors finding many ways of wrapping brains in metal trays
To keep us from the heat

It's good news week
Someone's dropped a bomb somewhere
Contaminating atmosphere and blackening the sky

It's good news week
Someone's found a way to give
The rotting dead a will to live, go on and never die

Have you heard the news? What did it say?
Who's won that race? What's the weather like today?

It's good news week
Lots of blood in Asian hell, they've butchered up their sacred cow,
they've got a lot to eat

It's good news week
Doctors finding many ways of wrapping brains in metal trays
To keep us from the heat
To keep us from the heat

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