Is it just me, or did anyone else notice a general lack of bad news being reported over the last 17 days?
Bad news doesn’t just ‘go away’ – it just doesn’t get reported on. Having said that, I’m willing to bet good money that the UK national crime rate was down this month (unless of course you happen to make a living as a London pickpocket or ticket tout). This year, the Jubilee celebrations, combined with the Olympics, has seen an outpouring of community spirit and camaraderie to rival the war effort of the 1940s. When people share a common sense of purpose and belonging for a good cause, good things can happen.
The media should learn from this experience and at least provide a balance of good news and bad news stories, rather than slip back into their normal tendancy to focus their attention on doom and gloom, and their ‘good news is no news’ mentality.
One reporter commented the other week on how uplifted the nation appears to be, asking how we could keep that feeling going beyond the Olympics. Well here’s a clue – keep feeding us good news! Maybe then, crime rates will stay a little lower and the economy will recover more quickly, if journalists would just encourage us to wear those rose tinted spectacles more often than the brown ones.
Like it or not, the mood of the nation is heavily influenced by the media, who need to recognise their level of responsibility for it. If the exacerbation of the London riots last year as a direct result of mass media coverage didn’t teach them anything, perhaps this current purple patch will.