I’ve noticed that my friends and family are getting fed up with my relentlessly dark view of reality. Don’t send me anymore of those background pieces on The Donald, they plead, I can’t take it anymore. Or, do you have to bring every conversation around to Climate Change? Or simply, dark looks to go with my dark stories.
Okay. I get it, but I have a good excuse: my view of the world is fed by a journalistic ethic best summed up thus: if it bleeds, it leads. And there’s a whole lot of bleeding going on just now. It’s all too easy to see the world through a glass, very darkly. Apparently, it’s so bad that even some journalists get fed up with reporting the Bad News. Take Michael Gleich; a German journalist, who ditched his profession and started a foundation, Culture Counts, http://www.culture-counts.de whose aim is to “teach constructive, solution oriented journalism in crisis regions as well as in Germany”. Their topics are peace processes, sustainable development, and cultural diversity.
HuffPost was so impressed that they gave him a lengthy article in their German online version. Gleich explains in the article that when he talks doom and gloom, people applaud. But when he points at positive developments, such as the sharp drop in crime in Germany and in most developed countries, nobody believes him.
In other words, we’re all getting very depressed. So, I believe it’s time to take a step back from the relentless barrage of news about insane/corrupt politicians, bloody conflicts that nobody wins, terror attacks, and Climate Change disasters. There must be more to ‘reality’ than that. As indeed there is. The world is a complicated place, and flying under the journalistic radar are all the Good News that ordinary people struggle to create every day. We need to hear about them, not the latest dumb thing you-know-who said. We need more Yin, less Yang; we need to expand our vision and have at least one glass with a rosy tint. Because the world is complicated, more so than the news cycle would have you believe.
So, from now on, I will not just write about the Bad News; I will join Mr. Gleich (his name translates, fittingly, as ‘Equal’) and also pay attention to The Good News. And write about that.
I just have to find it.