Saturday, August 19, 2006

Good vs. Bad News

Stan Dubin's posting Stop Reading, Watching and Listening and See How You Feel is actually pretty clever.

I remember when the news went out of control. There was a newspaper strike in New York in 1955 or 1956 when I was a kid. We started watching the news instead of reading the paper. And the major networks obliged by adding in several new times when you could watch it.

Not long afterwards there was a young woman who was murdered in a neighborhood close to where I lived. What was worse, neighbors watched and did nothing. This was a huge scandal -- not just the fact that she was murdered but the fact that no one helped her.

I observed a real shift in the news after that with sensational harmful stories dominating far more than ever before.

Here's what I think. There is MUCH more good news going on than bad news. Every day people help each other. Every day mothers put their parents put their kids' safety ahead of their own and save their children's lives. Ever day teachers stay late to help kids or pay a visit to the parents of a failing student to help resolve the problem. I could go on. And I'm sure you've seen it too.

So how come a factory burning down and killing two in Topeka makes the national news?

Is it because they really think it will sell papers? Is it because they are bankrolled by pharmaceutical companies that profit from the depression the news brings on?

The idea of simply not reading the paper for a few weeks is a suggestion L. Ron Hubbard made in a tape I heard (can't remember what the name of the tape is).

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