Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Bad News Kind-of Sucks

Listen to the news today and you’ll hear stories about shootings, war, and heated exchanges between politicians. The grocery store tabloids tout scandal about celebrity divorces and deaths. We hear about bankruptcy, nuclear arms, and natural disasters. You get the gist. But every now and then you’ll get a good news story… new promising treatment for a terminal disease, a heroic rescue, missing person found. Wouldn’t it be great if we had more of those stories?

The media is full of “bad” news. And it seems the more horrific, the more it’s covered and talked about. But frankly, bad news kind-of sucks.

Bad news is disheartening and depressing, and too much negativism is contagious. The Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) contains a report from the Communications Research Center entitled, The Effects of Bad and Good News on Newspaper Image and Community Image. The study concluded that “bad news created a negative image of the community not only on characteristics directly related to the news topics (safety, crime, and violence) but also on general characteristics (standard of living, neighborhoods, and environment).” Too much bad news just proves things are bad and getting worse, it makes you feel generally bad. But guess what? Good news is just as contagious!

As followers of Christ, we are commissioned to “love one another,” (John 15:12) and we should give the same amount of attention and talk time to our good fortunes. Imagine a world that is full of positive thoughts and actions and deeds! Oh that I would live to see!

Now I’m not saying that we should ignore or be oblivious to all bad news. I don't advocate turning the news off. Certainly not – it’s important to be aware of the issues. But we need to feed ourselves with equal amounts good news. What goes in is what comes out. Good news is uplifting, and it breeds happiness.

It takes a little more effort to find and hear inspiring stories. Those feel good stories don’t always make front page or prime time, but they're so worth the effort. So here's three websites I've found that feature good news:

Good News Network (subscription service)
Happy News
Huffpost Good News

So where do you go to hear your positive and enriching stories?