Starving For Good News Part 2

Now that the Olympics are over, I am ready to post Part 2 of Staving for good news.  I think the Olympic games are a perfect example of what I am talking about.  100’s of millions of  people from around the world tuned into watch the Olympics in Vancouver.  Why?  I will get to that in a moment.  First let’s look at two types of news.

The first type of news, I would call “Real news”. This is news that people actually need or should know.   This is news that has an real impact or potential impact on the people watching.  Political elections are real news because it informs us of the issues and agendas of those people who wish to make decisions and shape our lives for the next few years.  Economic news about interest rates, new credit card laws, housing markets, etc. help many people make personal choices.  Even the weather is real news because it can help people plan for their weekend or brace for disaster.

On the other hand is “Other News”.  This news has no impact on the general readership other than being interesting.  This is the type of news that TV, magazine, newspaper, and radio people choose to write about, talk about, and broadcast.  This is not real news.  Who is entering rehab in Hollywood, how many women Tiger Woods slept with, or the story about the guy who shot his neighbor’s dog when it would not stop barking, have no impact or bearing on any ones lives other than the people directly involved.

Other news is interesting.  There is a place for the human interest story.  My problem is on the percentage of other news that is negative.  Why do the media flock to the tragic human interest story rather than the triumphant?  I do not buy into the idea that bad news sells more papers.  The Olympics are a perfect example.

Yesterday Team Canada beat Team USA in Hockey.  This is not real news.  This is other news.  However, I am guessing that Canadians are out in force spending their hard earned Loonies on every news paper they can get their hands on to read this good news! (congratulations Canada on a great game and for hosting the Olympics!)  I think the appeal of the Olympics is the positive human interest stories or positive “other news” it generates.  Sure there is heart-break and tragedy, but I would argue that what most people love about the games is the feel good “good news” side of things.

During the Olympics we were distracted by good news.  Now the media can resume its relentless search for “other news” in all the wrong places.

    • Brandon C
    • March 2nd, 2010

    I feel like all the bad news also contributes to people living in constant fear and not trusting anyone. An example being the ads I have seen for the new website that lets anyone do a back ground check on anyone else. The whole point of the ad being that you can’t trust anyone and you should always think the worst.

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