Climate change. Health epidemics. School shootings.
Today’s headlines are filled with tragedy. And while problems sell papers, these negative news pieces do little to create a better world. If we only tell people about the many daunting problems that face the world, they easily shut down and feel powerless to affect change.
As early as the 1980s, studies have shown that by negatively depicting social reality, mass media cultivates a perception of a “mean world” which leads to social withdrawal as people give up on trying to make a difference. Yet the media continues to revolve around sensational stories with little regard for how those stories might impact society as a whole.
And “good news” stories are often just that — good news, with no future recourse for participation or replication.