You Are What You Read
"Well, food is to the body what information is to the mind. The information that we imbibe will turn into emotions, thoughts, actions and behaviours. The consequences are less visible but just as potent."
"With sensationalised stories, misleading headlines and inflammatory content, much of today's news actually disempowers the uninformed. To understand this better, we must burrow into the field of psychology to learn how the news alters our perception of the world and our subsequent beliefs about it."
"News organisations' fear of being boring has forced them to overcompensate with excessive promotion of conflict and violence in an effort to make the news more exciting."
"It is important to stress that solutions-focused news does not require us to ignore negative news; in fact quite the opposite. For a solution to exist, there must be a problem to begin with."
"The proof is in the pudding, because reading solutions-focused stories generated significantly higher motivation to take positive action and contribute to society, including donating to charity, participating in movements and organisations, and becoming more environmentally friendly."
"It is essential that we, as human beings, feel empowered when facing challenges; it will be pivotal in whether we tune in or tune out. If we are to become empowered, then we will require three essential ingredients: self-efficacy, optimism, hope."
"But optimism is a belief about the future, not the present; in other words, it's about a reality that has yet to exist."
"It is important to point out here that hope does not require us to ignore negative possibilities. Rather it requires that we do not ignore positive possibilities."
"It may be that this balance we require will not be provided by any one news organisation. In this case it is up to us to be proactive in selecting our news sources to include both problems and solutions to ensure we have a varied and mentally nutritious news diet. We can take responsibility for what information we allow into our minds because if we don't, the industry will decide for us and they may not have our best interests at heart; they may have their own."
"We need to live up to our own ideals, and we need to recognise that what we are doing could potentially harm society, where we lose track of journalism as a public service. It is important to remember that the news is a public service. At the moment, the balance of power is wrong: it is the public that are serving the needs of the news organisations, rather than the other way around."
"Can you imagine if schools, which also exist to educate a large audience, used the commercial case that by giving their pupils what they want, they are more likely to come back in the next day? We understand that school is about long-term objectives over immediate pleasure, and we need to look at the news the same way."