With all the sad stories that come up even in local newscasts, it’s no wonder that so many people have boycotted the news entirely. Constantly being reminded of all the bad things happening every day, many of which are beyond our control, can leave us feeling fearful and defeated. It’s as if nothing positive ever happens in the world or our local communities. Unless an uplifting video goes viral, you’re bound to consider all news negative. Not good for your mood or your soul to say the least!
But that’s because the media favors the negative. Good things are happening. People are helping others. Heroes are in our own neighborhoods. Communities are paying it forward. But the media runs in a much more structured way than we often see. Most local news channels are owned by larger networks. Most seemingly small websites are part of publishing giants. Therefore, much of what you hear across the board is more of the same. Continuity like this can have positive effects, like coverage when you need it and people always on the scene to report for you. But it also means that we’re bombarded with stories that will perform. To them, bad news is good news – a good story, anyway.
So how can those of us who want to know what’s going on in the world get our fill? How can we be more involved without being constantly troubled by all the negativity? If there is good news out there, how can we find a balance? It’s not that our eyes should never be open to tragedies and injustices, just that the only way to find peace shouldn’t be to turn off the TV. Further, seeing so much of this so regularly effectively desensitizes us to important issues – balance again is key.
We may never fully find the answers. But if we do our research we can achieve that middle ground – without driving ourselves totally nuts! My advice? Gather news from outlets big and small. Find differing opinions, different perspectives. Take a break from breaking news every now and then. While not news outlets, movements like Humans of New York and Gives Me Hope are just as important portraits of our lives as national news. Add Good (a site that has a community focus) and Good News Network (entirely dedicated to good news) to your blog roll, as they’re more positive editorial outlets. And if the news sparks something in you but you don’t know how to help – turn to sites with calls to action like Take Part and Kind Spring.
News isn’t just about taking something in – we have to interact with it.
What’s one positive story you’ve heard lately? Have any positive websites to check out?
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