Friday, 9 July 2010

How to protect your serenity against the negative bias of daily news (Part 1 of 6)


The average adult living in an industrialized country spends more than 500 hours per year watching news on television, listening to commentators on the radio, and reading reports in newspapers or on the internet. In most cases, that time exceeds what they spend reading books or acquiring useful knowledge in some other way.

What is even worse, 90% of the information that is absorbed during those 500 hours corresponds to natural catastrophes, man-made disasters, violence, poverty, divorce, vengeance, dishonesty, criminality of all sorts, incompetence, hostility, and decay.

In view of the messages that fill the airwaves, it is no wonder than an important segment of the population suffers from chronic anxiety or depression. A man will find exceedingly difficult to work at improving his life if he becomes convinced that the situation is rapidly deteriorating and that he is doomed no matter what he does.

However, should reporters be blamed for the negative bias given to daily news? Is it not true that those are precisely the kind of reports that people want to read? If television stations focus their programming on the dark side of the world, they are responding to an avid audience. If radio stations air harsh debates, it is because those attract more listeners than kind speeches.

To be continued in Part 2

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by Fr Antunes under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

How to protect your serenity against the negative bias of daily news (Part 1 of 6)


The average adult living in an industrialized country spends more than 500 hours per year watching news on television, listening to commentators on the radio, and reading reports in newspapers or on the internet. In most cases, that time exceeds what they spend reading books or acquiring useful knowledge in some other way.

What is even worse, 90% of the information that is absorbed during those 500 hours corresponds to natural catastrophes, man-made disasters, violence, poverty, divorce, vengeance, dishonesty, criminality of all sorts, incompetence, hostility, and decay.

In view of the messages that fill the airwaves, it is no wonder than an important segment of the population suffers from chronic anxiety or depression. A man will find exceedingly difficult to work at improving his life if he becomes convinced that the situation is rapidly deteriorating and that he is doomed no matter what he does.

However, should reporters be blamed for the negative bias given to daily news? Is it not true that those are precisely the kind of reports that people want to read? If television stations focus their programming on the dark side of the world, they are responding to an avid audience. If radio stations air harsh debates, it is because those attract more listeners than kind speeches.

To be continued in Part 2

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by Fr Antunes under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]