I don’t usually watch the news, but the other day I was watching TV and it came on and I didn’t do anything about it. I thought it might be beneficial to know about some current affairs, and besides I didn’t have much else to do. I can tell you I was struck by how inane and ridiculous it was. Their headline story was that some parts of the UK were going to have a hosepipe ban. Okay, thanks for the information. But they literally went on and on about it for so long, even showing exactly the same video clips twice. They showed grumpy gardeners talking about how it was ‘a complete disaster’ and middle class housewives exclaiming that they just didn’t know what to do about their lawn. Oh no. Poor them. Seriously, we just don’t know how lucky and spoilt we are, do we? I mean at least we have potable water on tap at all times!
After a surprising amount of time they diverted to quickly tell me about a rape case and one other thing I can’t remember, before going back to the hosepipe ban until the program was over. It really did feel like all the world events were being hidden from me. That sounds like conspiracy-style rubbish but I do think this news program failed in its role of informing me about the world. They could have covered something like a hosepipe ban in a few moments.
This was a particularly un-informative viewing, but it reminded me that most news programs are not that great in general. And they are well known for pretty much only showing bad news. This made me think about my Positive Media – Positive Reinforcement post, and the newspaper Positive News. The latter is a quarterly newspaper aimed at inspiring it’s readers by reporting on projects and people who are working towards a happy and sustainable world. I think it’s brilliant. The magazine Inspired Times (I wrote an article for their next issue!) is along very similar lines. I’m happy to see that the publishing industry has some alternative beauties growing in it… But what about visual media? Especially TV.
Television is such a powerful tool – it reaches thousands and thousands of people everyday, it reaches all sorts of people and the combination of audio and motional visual stimulation is quite… Yeah, powerful. (Have you ever seen a kid glued to a TV screen as if they can’t move their head?) And yet it’s mostly complete rubbish. Of course you do get some interesting programs, some amusing comedies, etc etc. But in my mind at least, the vast majority of it just makes me want to claw my eyes out. Nothing else makes me wonder at our collective stupidity as much as watching the telly. Why should we be dummed down like this? I think it’s time TV was infiltrated by the likes of Intelligence, Wit, and Independent Thought.
And what about a positive news program for a change? I mean, it’d be better to just have balanced news programs, but seeming as the conventional ones only shows wars and rapes and gun-shootings and the occasional hosepipe ban, a positive news program would help to balance this out a bit. A while ago, when I was reading a newspaper I mused to my boyfriend who was sitting beside me ‘’why do they only write about bad things?’’ to which he glumly replied ‘’because there isn’t that much good news in the world’’. This made me incredibly sad. The truth is, there is so much good stuff going on! There really is, it’s just that often we’re not told about it! One of the reasons I liked working with Inspired Times so much is because I got to find out about some of these good and inspiring things. I think it’s really important for them to be reported as heavily as the bad stuff, so that we can be inspired to do more good things. If people turn on the news and just get bombarded with tragedies and nothing else, it’s bound to make them full of apathy. Some balance please. And a healthy dose of inspiration. How else can we be motivated to get up off the sofa and make the world a better place?
Out of interest, if there was a positive news program on TV would you watch it?