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Balancing good and bad in a digital age

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Balancing good and bad in a digital age | Thaiger
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PHUKET: There is an apocryphal “curse” attributed to the ancient Chinese that is typically rendered as: “May you live in interesting times”. While its origins are sketchy at best, its popularity appears to be growing in this new era of digital information overload.

The days of a popular culture developed through a limited mainstream media are long gone. Content consumers are free to choose from a bewildering array of choices on an ever-growing number of platforms, from insightful podcasts on subjects such as physics and cosmology to 24-hour satellite television and internet “news” channels devoted solely to single causes, including crazy conspiracy theories and misguided political agendas.

In this increasingly complex context, far too many people lack the information literacy needed not to be sucked into dubious – and all too often negative – worldviews. Meanwhile, mainstream media is criticized more often than ever before on several fronts, from failure to inform the public of the latest inane doomsday scenario to not printing enough positive news.

In this context, the Gazette suspects we are more guilty of the latter than the former. While it remains true to some degree that “bad news sells”, the fact is that there is an existing apparatus for reporting bad news, while many positive developments slip through the reporting net simply because we are never made aware of them.

Fortunately, there are some groups on the island that take the time to recognize individuals or groups who make sacrifices to do the right thing. One such group is the Rotary Club, whose several chapters in Phuket have not only been involved in positive works themselves, but have also gone out of their way to recognize similar works by others.

As just one example, the Rotary Club of Patong Beach chapter recently awarded the Phuket Marine Police one of Rotary International’s Community Service Awards, only the fourth time the illustrious honor has been bestowed upon a Phuket individual or group.

The award was for the Marine Police’s role in helping ensure the sea gypsies on Koh Sireh had an adequate supply of water during the recent protracted drought (story here).

Another such award will be extended to New Zealander Delyse Gibson for stepping up to help a Phuket mini-crepe vendor who lost his only means of making a living to a fire (story here).

We do indeed live in interesting times, but here at the Gazette we would not have it any other way. We hope the community will continue to inform us of similar positive developments so that we can offer the best balance of content possible to help create a more realistic worldview for our readers.

 

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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