Bad news stories help us re-evaluate our lives
At the World Editors' Forum in Vienna last week, speakers raised an interesting point: Why is news so depressing?
As someone who deals with news on a daily basis, I've often asked myself the same question. The issue is highlighted whenever I look for stories for Young Post's news pages. I have to trawl through a daily litany of car bombs, murders, starvation, economic woes and plane crashes.
Most professional news agencies seem to think that unless it's bad news, it's no news at all.
Yet that is simply not true. There are many uplifting and inspiring people and stories out there waiting to be discovered.
I know because we run many such stories in Young Post, most of them written by our staff.
There is an old saying among news editors: 'If it bleeds, it leads.'
In other words, it is blood and pain that make a story exciting.
After working in the news business for years, it takes a lot to shock me. But my readers are not professional journalists.
So on Tuesday I agonised over the decision to run a story about a toddler on the mainland who was run over twice without anyone coming to her aid. Yet again a news story showed people as heartless.
Then I thought that such articles could also serve as a lesson to us.
Stories like that may help us think about our own behaviour and hopefully encourage us to be kinder next time someone is in trouble.