Depressed by bad news? Please don’t be.
The news isn’t bad because the world is.
The news is bad because we make it that way.
Ask any journalist: the news is a skewed sample of events chosen specifically because they’re AWFUL, SIMPLE and RARE.
Think about it: every day, billions of mothers don’t murder their children, millions of Muslims don’t commit acts of terrorism and nearly 50,000 plane trips don’t end in tragedy, which is why the ones that do are so… newsworthy.
If it’s in the news it’s because it hardly ever happens.
That’s why positive events don’t qualify; they’re so damn common. MAN LOVES WIFE is no more likely to make it to the front page than THOUSANDS ENJOY SUNSHINE. Good things happen all the time, too often to even talk about.
Journalists know we’d rather hear about dramatic, emotional and unusual events; 300 killed in a plane crash is a lot more newsworthy than 13,000 killed each day by tobacco. We’d rather talk about 2,000 jobs lost with the closing of a factory than the fact that every month the Australian economy grows by around 15,000 new jobs.
Using the news to understand our world is a lot like using The Guinness Book of Records to understand people; it’s a catalogue of extremes, not a representative cross-section of humanity. Similarly, our ‘news’ isn’t an accurate and comprehensive report of the state of the world; it’s an artificial collection of the most dreadful things… that hardly ever happen.
But that’s hardly news, is it?