No news is good news
PHUKET: It’s an all too common rant, and I’m certainly guilty of it from time to time, that the media just force feeds us negative content. Most of the time, what we read in the news is bad news.
Maybe the rant is true, as it is editors who make the choices that determine content. However, those choices reflect what people have given the most attention to in the past.
Does that mean we enjoy reading bad news? Are we attracted to bad news? Maybe it’s not an attraction, but we do have a tendency to give negative stories more attention.
The fact is, news isn’t supposed to always be enjoyable, and an important function of the media is to show people what is happening around them. It’s not easy to put a halt to atrocities that you don’t know exist. And it’s difficult to help fix problems that you don’t know are there. Publishing the bad is a way for everyone to see a little bit more into the dark side, by shining some light on it.
Although it may seem like a drop in the bucket, take a look at the story the Phuket Gazette ran recently about the gentleman whose motorbike-based crepe business caught on fire and burnt to the ground. He lost his livelihood and only source of income in the process. Not a feel-good story. Anyone with a heart would be sympathetic to his plight even though it pales in comparison to what’s happening in, say, Bangkok or the Ukraine these days.
The story went on to relate that a woman in New Zealand just happened to see the article on the Gazette website and it struck a chord with her. She decided that here was a battle she could win (story here).
It was pretty simple. The man needed 20,000 baht for a new crepe stall and she had the 20,000 baht at her disposal. It is the initiative and compassion she showed that made the difference.
He didn’t have to go to a loan shark. There was no charitable organization or bureaucracy involved. It was just a simple little news story – a bad news story – that brought about a little bit of good in the world.
— Jeremie Schatz
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