Sunday, July 11, 2010

And now for the good news

This reminds me of a recent conversation I had with... I don't recall whom, but I do remember the gist being that we only get the "bad" news, not the good, which can make for a pretty skewed view of the world if a person forgets the other side:

Truth in journalism is usually found on the comic pages. -Frank DeGennaro

A radio commentator noted that the news we generally receive through the media is "a proctological view of life." What is presented as the news is a carefully distilled entree of mayhem, culled for commercial saleability, playing on base fears and sensationalism. Much of the news we receive is not honest, for it is not an accurate reflection of the truth. While the media lets us know that a rape occurs every five minutes, it does not tell us how many acts of kindness occurred in that time. We rarely receive statistics on how many children were brought into the world with delight and appreciation; how many teachers told their students, "You are destined for greatness"; how many athletes dug into themselves for the stamina to complete their jogging; how many creditors extended extra grace to their overdue accounts; how many drivers slowed down to allow cars from a side street into the lineup on a main thoroughfare; or how many times anyone said, "I love you." When the news reflects the whole of life, not just its sordid aspects, it will be honest, serviceful, and worthy of our attention.

If we wish to get more accurate news, we must withdraw our fascination from evil and reinvest it in peace. A San Francisco newspaper published two different versions of a day's news, one with a sensational headline about a murder, and the other with a more modest banner about progress in peace talks. The sensational headline outsold the more mellow edition by four to one.

(Today's meditation from In the Rooms)

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