I have been on a bad news diet since August. I cheat a little here and there but I seriously limit how and what I consume. I feel terrible when I consume bad news. It depresses me, fills me with anxiety and worst of all, leaves me with a feeling of dread about the world and the future. On the other hand... when I consume good news I feel connected, hopeful and energized. So, what's the deal? Why doesn't mainstream news balance reports with good news of the day?
There are countless reports and articles on why good news is rarely, if ever, reported. Some blame the lack of demand by viewers and that is probably partially true. It is a market and it's product is determined by demand. But I'd say the motivation for bad news reporting has to do with the the bottom line. Fulfilled people don't make much of a profit for hospitals, the sick-care industry (aka health care), pharmaceutical companies, companies that sell anything at all, the war industry or the political industry. Fulfilled people aren't easily convinced into supporting agendas that harm people, the planet or greater good.
People are hungry for good news!
We have been programmed to believe that it is our civic duty to remain abreast of the news, so we do and we pay for it with a chronic feeling of hopelessness, helplessness and dread. It shows up as irritability, a short fuse, addiction, road rage, depression and anxiety--to name a few. The news as we know it, tells a fearful and ambiguous tale, and fails to offer people- and planet-affirming resolutions. The thing that makes mainstream news "bad" isn't simply that it is negative, it's that it intentionally evokes fear in viewers with a long term goal of using that fear for profit. Of course, this is my opinion but I think it's highly plausible. No one can (or should) try to stay abreast of all the world’s news and we couldn't if we tried, because the news is incomplete and inaccurate. It is one vantage point with blinders on. It is a scam aimed at marketing fear, not observation or fact, to the public.
Bad things happen. But so do GREAT things. As well as neutral things but, we’re not going to get the spectrum of community and world happenings from the news as we know it. Humans are designed for conflict, we can handle it. Conflict in news isn't an issue. What we cannot handle is the "not if, but when" propaganda that pushes the nervous system into overdrive. Yes, scary things happen in the world but fear will not solve any of them. War will not end terrorism, drugs will not cure cancer, stress will not end heart disease and pouring hopelessness and maddening political banter into every living room in America will not stop gun violence. The solution to all of these things will be found in the peaceful, quiet mind.
I suspect fewer and fewer people are carving out time each day to unplug, recharge and reclaim a peaceful mind. I have more peace of mind and hope without news in my diet. I get news from my community rather than from CNN and I assert my boundaries when people try to download the world's woes with me without my permission. After they get over an initial judgement of my opting out--we have a meaningful, witty, solutions-focused conversation about life and the world around us.
The news doesn’t have to be bad!
Typical news is deceptive and sadly, it is up to each of us to change the channel. But, the good news is, GOOD NEWS abounds. Even though good news is less reported and recorded than bad news, if you look for the good... you WILL find it. There is good in every moment, the responsibility is ours to look for it. It may not be a headline or flashy and that is okay. Good things rarely are as loud as awful things but they are just as transforming.
Life is too precious to spend it filled with worry and fear. For all the bad things that happen in the world, there are far more good things happening. The more people consume good news over bad, the less bad news there will be. The more people feel content, safe and peaceful, the more peace and safety there will be in the world. The next time you want a news update, choose one of these outlets:
The Good News Network Gimundo Huff Po Good news Today - Good News Daily Good
Sometimes you have to look a little harder but if you take the time to find the good, in even the worst situations, you will... find the good: