The Power of Bad News

Why is it that the news media always accentuate the negative?  Take the weather: in May it was unseasonably hot.  What did we get?  Dire warnings about drought.  Then we had six weeks of rain.  Did they rejoice?  Did they hell – all we got were dire warnings that it would rain until September, be the worst summer ever for crops, etc etc.  And now we’ve had a few days of sun, are they happy?  No – but since they can’t say anything dire, they are silent.  I predict, however, that it will only be a few days before the Bad Weather – that is, the Bad Weather News – crops up again.  It will either be a reprise of the ‘terrible rain’ scenario or something awful to do with the combination of heavy rain and sudden sun.

You just wait.  Oh, actually, you don’t have to.  Because today they are predicting a plague of flying ants.

Whereas what I want is a plague of spiders to eat up all the fruit flies in my kitchen.  They come out of the compost and short of burning joss-sticks I don’t know what to do about them.  We don’t use fly-spray – nasty stuff.

Personally, I’m enjoying the good weather and reminding myself to make the most of it as we don’t know how long it will last.

But as to news: why IS it that the media always focus on the negative?  I think the reasons are two-fold: first, that a constant run of ‘good-news’ stories is the hallmark of a totalitarian state where the media are controlled by the government, and they clearly want to be seen to be democratic: and second, because – as Douglas Adams cleverly spotted, Bad News is a force in itself:

‘Nothing travels faster than light, with the possible exception of Bad News, which follows its own laws.’

Kirk out

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