UNITED STATES—I am someone who just has to watch the local news because I need to know what is taking place in my community. However, the more I watch the local news the more depressed I become. It just feels so dark, violent and miserable at times that it is hard to fathom. I used to think the news was a good thing, but the more and more I think about it, it seems to be honed in on ratings and viewership.
Think about this, every single time you turn on the TV and you’re watching the local news rather it is in the morning, afternoon, evening or late at night, what is the top story? Is it good news or bad news? Think about that for a second, as I know it will not take you long to figure out the answer. It is always bad news. The biggest, most explosive or scariest story you can think of makes the headlines. It might be a shooting, a deadly car crash or murder, some level of violence tends to highlight the ‘Breaking News’ or ‘Top Story’ highlighted during that night.
I get that the viewers, in particular those in the surrounding community need to know what is unfolding in the region, but does it always have to be the worse of the worse that is delivered. Why can’t it be a feel good story? Why can’t it be news that makes you feel good on the inside versus something that turns your stomach all over the place? As long as I have been on this Earth I cannot recall a news story that started the hour on a positive note. You will hear at least 4 to 5 bad news stories, but the telecast is sprinkled with at least 1 good news story intended to lift the spirits.
Why can’t we have more of that? Is there a reason that cannot be the lead of the newscast? I feel like if the goal of the news is to inform us, there should be a balance of good and bad, not all bad, then a sprinkle of good here and there to at least get the viewer out of that depressive mood. I feel for the journalists, reporters and the broadcasters who have to deliver this news. So many of them do it with a stoic face, but I know that cannot be easy. They’re damn good at presenting it otherwise, but I just wonder.
Are there those stories that just cause the broadcaster, the reporter, to just break down in tears and show an emotional vulnerability to what they are covering? I doubt that will ever be seen because it then raises the question of bias if the broadcaster shows an ounce of emotion. I just don’t know regarding the news anymore, if it’s a good thing to watch or just read it, but that is just as depressing people it takes all the good energy you have to start off the day if you’re watching in the morning.
There becomes a level of worry as to rather that can happen to you or someone that you care about. You begin to have thoughts of worst case scenario, how you would respond to certain situations and so much more. I want to see a change in how news is presented, how it is delivered to the viewer, how it is reported and what it has now become.
It feels more like a popularity contest versus educating and informing the public. I guess we can thank the big time advertisers, millionaires and billionaires who have these news corporations in their back pocket. They report on what they want to hear, which means the audience or their target audience hears what they want to hear versus what we sometimes need to hear.
Written By Peter Sanders