Negative media can lead to distorted opinions

Cindy Cuadra/Staff Writer

Media plays a huge role in our lives; it’s the first source of information when breaking news occurs. However, more often than not, whenever I watch the news, I find myself only thinking negatively about the world and now associate the news with negativity.

In fact, according to an article published by Rolf Dobelli of The Guardian in 2013, news is bad for your health because it leads to fear and aggression. The article says it also hinders your creativity and deep thinking.

Studies have even also shown that bad news leads to increased violence and crime rates.

University of Toronto psychiatrists Anthony Feinstein, Blair Audet, and Elizabeth Waknine studied the correlation between the frequent exposure to violence, the process of sensitization and desensitization and the emotional stress it causes for journalists in the workplace. The study found that journalists who were constantly exposed to violent images, were more at risk for suffering from depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, somatization and alcohol consumption.

Watching the news has also been shown to create distorted opinions on issues and tragedies happening in society. It’s easy to believe everything on the news because when it’s supposed to be a trusted source of information. However, for the most part, a lot of the news we hear is bad news that sells.

According to a Huffington Post article published in 2016, the saying “no news is good news” may have some truth to it because bad news appeals to the fear emotions of humans, which is why it sells more. Dobelli says that bad news even triggers the limbic system that causes the release of cortisol, which results in the body entering a state of chronic stress.

Although the news broadcasts a lot of negative stories, it doesn’t mean all journalism is negative. There are plenty of good, positive news stories that are never heard of because they may never be considered “breaking news.”

Perhaps, the constant flood of bad news splattered on news outlets takes away the shine and curiosity of wanting to know good news that might actually outweigh the bad ones.

One solution is to prevent that is by educating yourself and staying well-informed. Just as our grade-school teachers and college professors have drilled into our heads that Wikipedia is not a reliable source, neither are all news outlets.

People should research the sources those news outlets get their information from and always double-check all the facts of a news story before creating an opinion about it. Reading into other sections of news outlets, aside from “breaking news” might also get rid of the “no news is good news” stigma because many good, positive stories come from sections other than what’s trending.



The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of FIU Student Media Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.


Image retrieved from Flickr.

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