‘Right there on my TV – It’s the six thirty news!’
Nowadays, it’s not just at 6.30pm. We can watch bad news from any country at anytime of the day or night. We don’t even have to be at home to get the latest news bulletins anymore.
Tragic events are beamed into our living rooms or directly to our mobile phones from all over the world only minutes after they happen – or even in real time.
We can look on the bright side and be thankful that whatever awful things happened, at least they didn’t happen to us or (hopefully) anyone we know.
But they did happen to someone and given theories like the six degrees of separation – they probably happened to someone who knows someone who knows someone who knows someone who we do know.
Watching the news definitely affects one’s mood. It is tempting to switch off – but important to know what is going on.
These things still happen even if we don’t watch the news and we cannot simply ignore unlawful or unfair actions.
We may even be able to help set them right – for example, by lobbying for changes to government policies or legislation. (See my post re kidney donor payments)
Or writing a letter via Amnesty International – a fantastic example of collective action that really can make a difference.
We also need to be well enough informed to be able to consider the impact of our own actions in our day to day lives and interactions with others – including taking responsibility for finding out about supply chains before we buy something. (See my post re Bangladesh)
In a somewhat perverse way, I find it reassuring that the Australian media report home fires, bad traffic accidents, armed robberies or drive-by shootings. At least it means that these events are still ‘remarkable’ or ‘newsworthy’.
It would surely be worse if incidents such as these were considered to be so normal or taken for granted that they were no longer reported – or we just reported the number of incidents as there were so many, rather than the gory details of the few.
But imagine a different world – where every so often there was no bad news to report. Just as John Lennon sang – a world living in peace, if only for a short time.
Or like Anne Murray describes in her 1983 song ‘A Little Good News’ (just substitute Syria or Sudan for Lebanon if you watch the music video):
‘Just once how I’d like to see the headline say
“Not much to print today, can’t find nothin’ bad to say”, because
Nobody robbed a liquor store on the lower part of town
Nobody OD’ed, nobody burned a single buildin’ down
Nobody fired a shot in anger, nobody had to die in vain
We sure could use a little good news today
I’ll come home this evenin’, I’ll bet that the news will be the same
Somebody takes a hostage, somebody steals a plane
How I wanna hear the anchor man talk about a county fair
And how we cleaned up the air, how everybody learned to care…’
Image: © Jhanganu | Dreamstime.com