Great news

I just discovered The Great News Network:

Despite all the negativity broadcasted in news today there is progress being made to better our planet. The Great News Network exists to report it.”
– Ryan Logtenberg, Founder GNN

Some recent headlines:
* Congress presses for torture ban
* A Wide Range of Endangered Animals Given Conservation Boost
* Bangladesh Seizes Rare Wild Birds From Market
* Deforestation rates decrease in the Amazon

Here’s something funny: When I read that last headline, my mind did this trick where it read the first part and then:
1) Assumed that the rest of the headline would be about bad news
2) Started to skip towards other headlines

This tells me, that we (or at least I) have been heavily conditioned to expect bad news in the media. I read half a headline, noticed it was about deforestation in the Amazon and just KNEW that it had to be about a bad situation getting worse.

And the second part of my reaction, the looking away, may explain why people are retreating from many important issues, from rain forest shrinkage to world hunger: The current media coverage has taught us to think, that it’s all bad and getting worse. So why get involved? Why even take an interest – it’ll only depress me.

You could argue, that reporting the bad news leads to increased awareness about the problems. That’s true. But reporting almost exclusively on the bad news leads to a feeling of helplessness that has us giving up BEFORE we ever do anything.

And that’s why we need a new kind of media that is willing to report on the good news. Good news gives us the energy and optimism to do something about the bad news.

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