Remember the band Hedgehoppers Anonymous and that classic ol’ song ‘It’s Good News Week’? The lyrics included: “Someone’s dropped a bomb somewhere, contaminating atmosphere, and blackening the sky.”
While some of the lyrics were positive, for example, “Someone’s found a way to give, the rotting dead a will to live, go on and never die”… The song itself was a dig at our news services way back in the 1960s.
What’s changed? Not a lot it seems — and its getting worse!
So much so, my wife (a former award-winning radio/TV journalist) and I have literally ditched the 6pm news. E-V-E-R-Y night of the week!
The result? We are much happier. We talk more than before. (Gee — imagine a husband and wife talking over dinner!)
We still scan the headlines on various news sites online, but at the end of the day we really are only interested in stories that affect us personally. That includes the weather, good or bad, maybe property sales information in our area (we’re ready to sell), and any ‘feel good’ local stories that highlight the good deeds of others.
How often are local ‘feel good’ stories reported though?
One example — a woman shopping in her mobility scooter ran out of battery power. Locals knew she had more medical issues than just mobility and helped her back home. They contacted her family and doctors and appropriate disability services and made sure she made it back home with her shopping bags intact.
A win-win for the woman and for the locals who went out of their way to help.
Did this get reported? Not really. Why? Because the ‘mantra’ of mainstream radio, TV and newspapers and online is… “If it bleeds it leads”. Everything else is a ‘filler’.
If the president of the United States, Donald Trump, doesn’t tweet something silly or Australia doesn’t have yet another prime minister, or no one dies on the road, or is killed in cold blood somewhere, a story like this might just get up… Then again, it will be competing with the latest ‘sexiest outfits this summer’ or ‘legendary footballer/cricketer re-signs for multi-million dollar contract!’
Anyway, your (our) choice, but believe me — taking a break from the daily news cycle has certainly been a refreshing breath of fresh air.