What’s in the news?
“No news is good news”. It’s what people say when they’re worried about something. Somehow, saying it helps make them feel better. After all, if you don’t hear that something bad has happened, it should mean that everything is good. Right?
This makes sense, since the news rarely announces anything positive. It feels like, these days, the moment you turn on the news, all you hear about is catastrophes – power-hungry humans, war, floods, drought, violent killings, sinkholes, earthquakes, cats falling from trees, wildlife getting extinct, viruses, etc.
We are so wired that news is usually bad, that we resort to phrases like this to pacify ourselves. Alas, the news persists, relentlessly!
Yet, when waiting for the result of a job interview, or for exam marks, or the arrival of a friend, we can’t stand not hearing any news!
I tend to wake up feeling positive each morning. As the day progresses, I debate whether to ignore the news and be uninformed, or to tune in and be misinformed or worse, deflated, thus reducing my happiness quotient. Being uninformed is not appealing; I won’t be happy, since I strive to learn, and I don’t subscribe to the phrase “ignorance is bliss”. But being informed of bad news doesn’t make me happy either!
So now I skim through just the headlines, not opinions or interpretations. I learnt this from my children, who somehow seem to know just enough about everything happening in the world, without ever “watching” the news.
This way I get news in bytes that are tolerable, without disrupting the psyche too much.
For example, I noted briefly, the trial of a prominent lawyer who murdered his family, and his career of thievery. The tragedy of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria. The endless political shenanigans in the world’s most powerful, “stable” countries. Nothing positive. But it was enough to get me to donate to a medic organization sending aid to earthquake victims. The important news stood out.
Some channels have introduced a “happy” story at the end of the newscast. Tiny but uplifting things. The little soccer player who sacrificed scoring a goal by stopping en route to help a kid on the opposing team who had fallen. The guy who filmed a car thief in action, called him out and prevented the theft. Inspiring lessons that showcase kindness!
While it’s sad that in a one-hour newscast, there’s only one positive news item, it’s still something to smile about.
I’m sure there are people who long for the day when they turn on the news and hear the announcer say, “Good morning, viewers! I am happy to report that there is nothing to report today. Nothing has happened at all. And that, in fact, is good news!”.
Not likely to happen, of course, but one can still hope.
Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org .