New Years Resolution ... TURN OFF THE NEWS!

By
Real Estate Agent with Executive Realty Group

We all know it...the times right now are challenging.  Apparently the media doesn't get it, though.  For some reason they've collectively decided that sensationalizing bad news, or taking something that isn't bad news and soundbiting it to make it sound bad, must be good for their business!  They want ratings; fear mongeringthey want viewers; that's understandable.  Their sponsors want those viewers so they can sell their products.  But if viewers are bombarded with signs that their money is disappearing right from between their fingers, how much are they likely going to spend on those sponsors' products?  What am I missing here?

And as if that's not enough, they seem intent upon bolstering suspicions of scandal in government ... and when they don't find a scandal, the invent the possibility of one.  So we believe our economy is in the toilet; we're suspect of all the folks trying to get us out of this mess, we're inundated with stories of the worst of the worst (over and over again) and we're trying to make sense of it all.  The media claims they're just "reporting" the news.  That train has long since left the station!  Instead of unbiased information, we're getting very biased "infotainment"...just enough fact that we "think" we should believe it, but so jaded and biased and slanted as to have lost nearly all semblance of truth.  And this is the "news" we're supposed to be basing our informed judgements on?

It seems we're in the midst of creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.  The question is whether it's to be one of growth, of hope, of recovery .... or the one the media is defiantly choking us with; one of fear, of loss, of despair!  Maybe if we stop buying what they're pedaling we might actually find our way out of this into a better, brighter 2009!  News is important, to be sure ... but only if it's credible.  And who's giving us that?

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Rainer
207,218
Shane OnullGorman
Eau Claire Realty, Inc. - Eau Claire, WI
Eau Claire Wisconsin, Real Estate Agent & Realtor- Buy or Sell

I personally dont think the media has changed much in over 100 years or more. If you go to headlines dating prior to the 1900s you will find similar stories. It has always been about readership and strong headlines get people to read the papers. I see what you are getting at about sponsors but it really doesnt matter. If it bleeds it leads and thats what sells papers and in turn gets ad revenue.

Dec 27, 2008 11:40 PM #1
Rainmaker
592,646
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate

I can't watch the news anyway. It makes me anxious, no matter what they're reporting. There's just too much negativity. It's no good for anyone.

Dec 27, 2008 11:55 PM #2
Rainer
10,898
Kim Hamblin
Bella Casa Real Estate Group - McMinnville, OR

I've been listening to selective news programs like NPR instead of regular evening news.  It's more focused and more unbiased than regular stations.  It doesn't make me as anxious!

Dec 27, 2008 11:58 PM #3
Rainmaker
338,052
Gerry Khatchikian
Red Lodge, MT
ASA, TRC, SFR

Given that news are more inclined towards negativity, I think turning off the news is a great resolution.   Too bad they don't start with some positive news every day (if any) so that at least we have a good reason to turn on the news and too bas as well that they don't warn you when they are done with the positive news so that you know and get to choose when to turn off the news.

Dec 28, 2008 12:18 AM #4
Rainer
30,230
Toby Boyce
Howard Hanna RealCom Realty - Delaware, OH
MBA, Delaware Ohio

This past week CBS Evening News led off with a negative story on the housing sector every single night. Monday's was how these poor home owners were loosing their place during Christmas, then Tuesday's was how these horrible people were beating the place up.

Seriously? How can you be an angel on Monday and the devil on Tuesday?

I've begun using my google reader a bit more.

Dec 28, 2008 01:04 AM #5
Rainmaker
996,912
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Judi:  What a wonderful idea.  Since just about everything on the news is so negative, perhaps you've got the right idea.  Especially with you in Illinois, having to contend with all the nonsense about your beloved Governor.  Great idea... thanks for sharing.

Dec 28, 2008 01:06 AM #6
Rainmaker
996,912
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

I really like and agree with Kim's idea above... about watching Public Television or listening to NPR in the car.  The rest of the "car news" and program are all so incredibly negative... it would change just about anyone's mood to bad.

Dec 28, 2008 01:12 AM #7
Rainmaker
1,776,862
Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors - Austin, TX
Realtor-Canyon Creek- NW, Austin TX Homes For Sale

Judi: I agree and have already turned the news off! There are many positive reports that would help bolster our country's response to the negative problems we are enduring and they are not reported. This holiday season there were many acts of random kindness displayed and they could focus on these wonderful gestures displayed in our communities. A feature could be done everyday to start the news out and I'll bet many would tune in to see them. Instead our papers and news shows are declining in readership and viewership along with a decline in sponsors.

Dec 28, 2008 02:44 AM #8
Rainer
42,689
Judi Bryan
Executive Realty Group - Bloomingdale, IL
Your Chicagoland Connection

Shane - In theory that may be true ... that newspapers and media have always worked that way.  The difference is the ballooning of media and how it's bombarded our lives.  It's no longer just the newspaper and some TV time.  Now it's many stations running what they pass for "news" 24/7,  It's like comparing being "armed" as having a shotgun 100 years ago to having machine guns, missiles, and nuclear weapons today.  I think it's a huge difference - yet the media takes the quick answer approach, rather than looking responsibly at the impact they are having.

Lisa - Whole heartedly agree!  Thanks for your comment!

Kim - You're right..."selective" listening helps.  Unfortunately, I'm finding it really hard to find programs that take a "de-sensatioinalized approach".  Bummer!

Gerry - You are so right!  Remember right after 9-11...as horrific as that was, media was reporting on all the ways Americans were coming together.  We saw partriotism stories, compassion stories, "together" stories.  People were still glued to the TV and Radio ... and everyone was looking for reasons to believe everyting was going to be OK.  We need that now every bit as much as we did then.

Toby - How true!  Seems the media folks just want to "dig deeper to find the real dirt!"

Karen Ann - Thank you for commenting.  Regarding the Governor, there have been problems associated with him since he took office...so not sure this is nonsense.  Whether he's guilty or not, however, in THIS economy he's not doing our state any good by digging in.  We need leadership here...and right now we have none.

Dorie - You're absolutely right!  The challenge is to convince media to think responsibly!!!  Is that an oxymoron....responsible media????

Dec 28, 2008 06:23 AM #9
Rainmaker
895,372
Michael Setunsky
Michael's Commercial LLC - Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Unfortunately, negativity sells so that's what the news capitalizes on. The media even has a way of turning good news into something negative. All we can do is turn it off and stay positive. Hopefully it will rub off on our neighbors.

Dec 28, 2008 10:02 AM #10
Rainer
42,689
Judi Bryan
Executive Realty Group - Bloomingdale, IL
Your Chicagoland Connection

Michael - I absolutely agree with your point about "turning good news into something negative".  They're certainly doing that now.  However, every time I hear that negativity sells, I always come back to "it sells because it's the only thing available".  If I go to the store and I need a meal, and the only thing for sale is pizza, that's what I'll buy...even if I don't particularly like pizza.  Negativity sells because that's what's available.

Dec 28, 2008 10:24 AM #11
Anonymous
Anonymous

Bad news is what people want. It sells newspapers and advertising.

It's very similar to people watching car races. They don't watch to see cars go round and round endlessly. They watch hoping to see that once-in-a-lifetime spectacular crash.

Same thing with boxing. Nobody watches two people jumping up and down in a ring for however many rounds. They watch hoping to see that once-in-a-lifetime knockout punch. Personally, I find boxing disgusting and not worth of a civilization.

When my wise old grandmother was raising me, she used to subscribe to a newsmagazine called GRIT. It was nothing but positive news, inspirational news, etc. It, of course, eventually folded due to lack of advertising, but I do credit my wise old grandmother and GRIT for creating in me a desire to surround myself with Pleasant, Polite, Personable, Positive, Professional people.

Jan 02, 2009 02:19 AM #12
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Judi Bryan
Executive Realty Group - Bloomingdale, IL
Your Chicagoland Connection

Russel - I can't believe I'm all that different than most people.  I don't "want" the bad news - but it seems as though it's all that's available (much of the time).  Do I look when I see an ambulance at an accident?  Sure...the first thing coming to mind is "will they be ok???"  And after the 9/11 attacks, the stories that many of us clung to were those of heroism, of a country, for at least that brief moment in time, united and compassionate.  I loved hearing those stories...they help to give us hope and strength to face what might be ahead.  Good stories can mobilize, as well.  Perhaps GRIT had other reasons (besides 'good news" content) for its demise.

Jan 02, 2009 08:56 AM #13
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