The News (Positive or Negative thing?)

Discussion in 'Soap Box' started by Silvio, Oct 26, 2009.

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  1. Silvio

    Silvio Well-Known Member

    Today in my english class, I targeted the news and said how it affected the modern day society. I said that the news was a very pessimistic thing, because it generally focuses on all the bad stuff terrorism, war, violence.......

    I stated that it imparts negative thoughts in our minds, very subtly on a sub-conscious level. My friend and a few others, on the contrary, disagreed, they believed that the news was very important, because it told them what was going on in the world and that the world is a cruel place, anyway. I can easily relate to their viewpoint, because I too, have once fallen in that frame of thinking, but I was a bit disturbed by how they gained happiness from people who were announced that they were put to jail, even though they did commit crimes.

    My rebuttal towards this specific paradigm is that while I am very cynical towards the whole of society and world, why would I want to hear stories about homicides occurring day after day? It doesn't benefit me in anyway and let's not forget the media can easily omit things, why can't they focus on the more positive aspects in life, such as how people are striving to stop the problems occurring. The new's role is obviously to inform, but it has great INFLUENCE, why can't they put that influence to good use? My friends argue that good things rarely happen, well, all the more reason why I don't want to hear about how a complete stranger had something horrible done to them. Okay,now to the part about how people gain enjoyment if a "bad" person is jailed....... we are all familiar with the justice system, but it doesn't mean we should incorporate every single law towards our views on life, it's stupid and makes you shallow-minded. Anyway, how are you helping victims from laughing and teasing the perpetrators? The media, could easily explain why the perpetrators are this way, I can already understand you probably disagree with me on this aspect saying that "bad people deserve to die", I will explain further, I won't go into detail,as to not digress from the subject, but I don't believe in "good" or "evil", on a moral basis, I do think someone can do the wrong things, but I wouldn't ever call anybody evil, there is always a source. ( It's called empathy, put yourselves in other peoples' shoes and you'll understand how things work.) So, with this said, how are you a better person from laughing at the perpetrator? What have you done to change things, apart from satisfying yourself and feel superiority, because of your parasitic attitude? This is why I think the media like the news, is disgusting, because it promotes this kind of derogatory behaviour.

    This is what the news can do so EVERYBODY benefits from it, yes its important we know what's really going on in the world (and the news likes to instill the most trivial, yet also most negatively affecting things and maybe even apocryphal stories at times.) They can state the negative story, but explain REASONS as to why it happened, such as the background to the perpetrator, how was it like? The news is to inform after all, correct? How can this benefit everyone? Humanity becomes more accepting and understanding, everybody unites, there will hardly be any judgements made towards anyone. Of course justice is important, the perpetrator will need to go to jail, but people like criminologists, psychologists etc. should analyze and assess the person. The motive here, is trying to prevent it from happening for good so it has less recurrence and then maybe after a few months, this can be reported on the news again, about people trying to prevent the problem, wouldn't you be inspired and gain some hope? I can imagine it being a lot better than feeling good about laughing at the perpetrator, which to me, is also a victim (Empathy, remember?) The news would then encourage people to support this viewpoint and enforce a new positive outlook, sure its not a perfect system, but a lot better than the shit mechanism of how stories are conveyed in the news nowadays.

    I will be honest, almost everyone disagreed with me, are these reasons not valid? I find that it can be very realistic and can change humanity for the good....why would you want to live in the past, when there is a happy future? Hope.
    I want to hear your sentiments, to know I'm not alone, that people do find the media like the news a very negative thing, but if everyone finds it positive, that is fine too. I am a teenager, so maybe I haven't had enough experience with the media yet and my friends are teenagers too.
  2. shades

    shades Staff Alumni

    Hi Silvio,

    Good thread and everything is pertinent. In my estimation it's both.

    The local news channels mostly talk about murders and fires and such...very negative but good for ratings. People like to see it. I've heard psychologists
    and sociologists talk about this. They say that people who watch this type of news, feel a type of "mental catharsis"...the same thing that happens when people stop to look at a horrible car accident. It makes them think "boy am I glad that wasn't me" and get some kind of subconcious release/relief out of it.

    But, in general I would agree that the news can create depression on a local, national, international level. It's happening right now. However, in my opinion, it is better to be informed than not about political and social issues. Unfortunately most of the news is negative. It's rare to get some positive scientific breakthrough to report.

    I think the news can create a kind of downward spiral or can produce general feelings of good will and then it is like a cause and effect scenario, a give and take between the population and the news, up and down, one feeding the other.

    So, although both you and your friends are correct I do agree that your reasons (as summed up in the last paragraph) ARE VALID. Obviously, this issue is very complex. I hope others will join in and we can continue this important discussion.

  3. itmahanh

    itmahanh Senior Member & Antiquities Friend

    Not only does the media and news enforce the negative but is strips people of compassion and empathy. We become conditioned to such sights as bombings, horrendous accidents either man made or natural. We eventually tell ourselves it isnt that bad. I had been a witness to a tragic car accident some years ago. Almost every evening on the local news, there for all to see, graphic shots from a tragic accident. Well trying to help the survivor from one of the vehicles ( his two passengers died in the accident) I over heard someone say "well it could of been worse, did you see the accident the other night on channel **, shit that semi completely destroyed the chevy." If I could hear it I'm certain the man I was trying to keep calm til help arrived heard it too. The mentality of people is truly amazing. But, it was, what is becoming normal behaviour. You hear of people threatening to take their lives and others standing around encouraging them to jump or pull the trigger!!

    If and when something good does happen it usually ends up as far away from the front page as possible. Good just does not sell a paper or insure good ratings for a TV station. Unless it's something sickeningly cute about an animal or baby. Then it might get 3rd page mention or a few seconds before the news is signed off.

    What it does do though is "reward" the criminals, the murderers, the terrorists etc. They gain notority. People know their name. Their face is well known. The terrorist that detonates the bomb that kills hundreds knows his "organization" is going to get the "credit" for the carnage. Free publicity if you will.

    And the victims of senseless tragic violence are tortured further. The media wanting to know the nitty gritty about the details. And if the victim parished, then the family is hounded relentlessly. And the general population drinks it all in. Is "brainwashed" of even their own basic morals and values as they are "taught" to see and hear these things as normal everyday occurances.

    The media, new and press need to be held more accountable. Made to see how pathetic they really are when pressing in to get a comment from the family as they leave the courtroom, sobbing after hearing the verdict that the person that killed their family member is once again getting off. How fiendish they are when they plaster front pages and top stories with pictures of degenerates that participate in activities that leave others scarred for life or dead. Promoting the actions when nothing needed to be mentioned about it at all really.

    What about the boy - next - door that alone tried to raise funds by cutting grass all summer, giving up his own allowance, sold homemade crafts etc and then donated all the proceeds to a local charity? Lucky if he sees any type of airtime, press coverage or gains any notority for his efforts. Nope sorry kiddo.... you just dont sell the paper or get any ratings. The media has the power to change this all around. After all, they borught it to where it is now. About time they had to start being held responsible for what they are doing.
  4. Silvio

    Silvio Well-Known Member

    My thoughts exactly, mediums like the news, only seem to expose violent acts that the majority of people have no control over and can do nothing about. As you have stated, people who should be recognised for their selfless actions, get no time on air at all (If they're lucky to make it). It's simply inequitable. I also agree that the issue is very complex.
  5. Zoe

    Zoe Well-Known Member

    It's positive in providing an important service but probably has a widely negative impact on audiences, I suppose.

    The point made about desensitization has bothered me for a long time, it does leave a very bad taste in the mouth.

    Sky News' site annoys me as it seems to take particular relish in headlining the most sordid and depressing stories it can get its hands on. The endless 'Broken Britain' stuff :sleepy:

    I don't watch TV news because I haven't got a TV, I guess I feel better for it. I noticed on holiday once that part of why I was feeling relaxed was because I'd stepped out of following the news.

    Analytical news programmes are worth following IMO, I miss Newsnight. That said, I'm probably glad I'm missing the depressing analysis' they'll be doing on terrorism in Pakistan now.

    I used to find watching BBC News 24 in the middle of the night relaxing though :dunno:.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 28, 2009
  6. Tobes

    Tobes Well-Known Member

    I think that the news is negative in its ways, but is still a positive influence, if that makes sense. By that I mean it keeps us aware of what is going on around us and we are in turn more mindful that such things can happen, so we take a bit more caution. It depends on where you live I guess, I'm in Australia and the news is usually 1/3 Accidents/death/violence, 1/3 World Events (sometimes violent) and the other 1/3 can be anything, maybe a positive story or event that is happening or scientific/health study or something. It depends if its the nightly news or just an update, but I have noticed that almost every day's news update for the last few months has contained a car accident that has happened somewhere in my region, which I think is unnecessary.
  7. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    I think the problem is in society and the public as a whole. After all, we're the ones the media targets. If we were less receptive and fascinated with the violent, the morbid, and the negative in general, they'd change. The unfortunate fact is that the media's stories are reflective of what is popular among us, the viewer. After all, what grabs our attention more?
  8. J_Oli3

    J_Oli3 Well-Known Member

    Me too. That or Sky News, lulls me to sleep lol

    Regional news isn't as bad, I've found. Some positivity with that at least.
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