Why is that good news is no news?  
Posted on January 26th, 2018

Dr. Mareena Thaha Reffai, Dehiwela

Nowadays you open the daily newspaper every single page is filled with bad news. Someone got killed by drunken driver, someone snatched  the chain from a woman, someone caught drug smuggling, some politician being questioned about the corruption/ fraud, doctors fighting etc. etc.

It is as if this country with  20 million people do not do a single thing right or a single good act. It is bad bad  news day in day out – page after page. Why, o why  do we lap up bad news and why do the newspapers thrive on dishing out bad news?

We are all familiar with the poem – CHILDREN LEARN WHAT THEY LIVE by Dorothy Law Nolte

If a child lives with criticism,

he learns to condemn.

If a child lives with hostility,

he learns to fight.

If a child lives with fear,

he learns to be apprehensive.

If a child lives with pity,

he learns to feel sorry for himself.

If a child lives with ridicule,

he learns to be shy.

If a child lives with jealousy,

he learns what envy is.

If a child lives with shame,

he learns to feel guilty.

This is not only true for children but for any aged person – and for the nation too.

On the other hand, the poem continues –

If a child lives with encouragement,

he learns to be confident.

If a child lives with tolerance,

he learns to be patient.

If a child lives with praise,

he learns to be appreciative.

If a child lives with acceptance,

he learns to love.

If a child lives with approval,

he learns to like himself.

If a child lives with recognition,

he learns that it is good to have a goal.

If a child lives with sharing,

he learns about generosity.

If a child lives with honesty and fairness,

he learns what truth and justice are.

If a child lives with security,

he learns to have faith in himself and in those about him.

If a child lives with friendliness,

he learns that the world is a nice place in which to live.

If you live with serenity,

your child will live with peace of mind.

With what is your child living?

 

The question here is WITH WHAT DOES OUR  NATION LIVING?

The pen is a mighty weapon. The journalist can change the mentality of the people. I have heard that the past prime minister of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew forbade newspapers carrying bad news as a rule to set the mood of the nation to one of hope, good will and positive thinking. And it worked.

Ok, we may not be able to do that, but at least give us some good news to realize our country is not so bad after all. For every cheating politician there are thousands of citizens who are trustworthy and law abiding. For every theft there are thousands who return the lost money and valuables. For every drug smugglers there are thousands of social workers who are helping people to do the right thing. So on and on.

Why not write about them? Please.

Sent by:

Dr. Mareena Thaha Reffai,

Dehiwela

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