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Why the News is So Negative -What We Can Do

Introduction:

The news has a reputation for being negative, and it’s not just a coincidence. Studies have found that across many years and countries, coverage of political topics tends to more often be conveyed in a negative or cynical tone rather than a positive one. This can be discouraging for news consumers, who may feel overwhelmed and unhappy with the constant barrage of negative stories. However, there may be ways to break the cycle of negativity bias in the media and get a more balanced view of the world.

Negativity Bias, Explained:

Humans have what social psychologists call a “negativity bias”: We tend to pay more attention to bad-seeming information than good-seeming information. This bias is deeply ingrained in human cognition and may be the root factor for why the news is so depressing. Despite concerns over the validity of social psychology research, the general existence of a negativity bias is widely validated by many studies.

Supply- and Demand-Side Reasons:

The negative tone of news coverage may come from both the supply- and demand-side. Journalists, who have always been a fairly morose bunch, may produce news that reflects their own feelings of negativity. At the same time, readers may be more likely to click on negative or dire news. This is partly due to the negativity bias and partly due to the fact that negative news tends to be more sensational and attention-grabbing.

Breaking the Cycle:

While it may not be possible to eliminate negativity bias entirely, there are ways to break the cycle of negative news coverage. One approach is to focus on solutions-oriented journalism, which emphasizes positive stories and solutions to problems. Another approach is to seek out news sources that are known for their balanced and impartial coverage. Finally, individuals can take steps to limit their exposure to negative news, such as setting boundaries on social media or taking breaks from the news altogether.

Conclusion:

The negative tone of news coverage can be discouraging for news consumers, but it may be possible to break the cycle of negativity bias in the media. By focusing on solutions-oriented journalism, seeking out balanced news sources, and limiting exposure to negative news, individuals can get a more balanced view of the world.

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