Negative news headlines perpetuate unnecessary fear

Publications need to focus more on the good and less on the bad

More stories from Colette St. John

December 13, 2016
UW- Eau Claire provides news publications to campus, most containing destructive headlines.

Photo by Colette St. John

UW- Eau Claire provides news publications to campus, most containing destructive headlines.

Shootings, terrorist attacks, racism; these are all common themes frequently seen in headlines of the media today.

It’s important to be aware of what is going on in the news, I even have the SmartNews app on my iPhone which tracks a culmination of the most popular news hubs such as CNN, Time and ABC News.

But it’s getting hard to continue clicking on the app each day knowing the articles I am about to read have a damaging nature.

We welcome negativity as a culture, because of this we have become immune and numb to destruction; whether it be in a far away country or in our own neighborhood.

From this complacency and contentedness we have become a selfish generation that has access to the tools our ancestors only wished they could have had in order to make a positive impact on the world, yet we don’t take advantage of them.

New findings in a Huffington Post article by Catherine Taibai have revealed people actually want to hear positivity and the most shared articles are light-hearted and positive.

The Huffington Post has added theGood News section to their publication and since have witnessed a 45 percent growth in readership each year.

While we sit in class, scrolling through Twitter feeds to pass the time while we receive an education that indebts us for years, people are being attacked and worse, killed.

By promoting positivity through news stories, Twitter feeds and Facebook posts, we can all take part in making change. It takes a collective group movement, whether little strides or big.

We need change through focusing on the good, not bad. We can’t expect change to happen in our world if we keep pouring gas on the already burning flame.

It’s hard to take action when we haven’t actually witnessed destruction ourselves, but we can’t wait until a catastrophe happens to react. We need to be proactive in collaborating for peace among people instead of inflicting fear through the media.

I’m sick of living in fear. I shouldn’t have to walk through campus in fear of someone pulling out a gun, or be afraid to return to my previous job at the Mall of America due to the terrorist target it wears on its back.

Let’s shed light on the millions of soldiers saving lives, organizations such as the International Justice Mission saving enslaved people or the countless Peace Corps volunteers working to solve hunger and unify nations.

Maybe if we heard more positivity, we would want to help too. I’m not asking for 100 percent of news and media to pour out only positive headlines, that’s an unrealistic request. Simply a more balanced amount would be more beneficial than we realize.

Today, I’m choosing to live. To not spend another day being content, afraid or reactive. Instead, helping in the fight towards creating a better world and I hope you’ll join me.