OK I admit I’ve been in the habit of reading the daily’s online every morning for the last couple of years. Over that time I have noticed a gradual slide in journalistic standards, the level of “news” being reported and general negativity to towards life in this state, city and country. You know how they work:
“Man slashed in Kings St”
“Mother blows 0.17 with 3 kids in the car”
“Bashings up 257%”
“Government drops ball on health”
etc etc. And the infuriatingly lazy/uninformed over-use of adjectives:
“Furious consumers tired of corporate cash grab”
“Angry locals plan night vigil”
“Stunned street mourns death”
“Commuters revolt over transport plans”
What locals? Which consumers? There are none of course – its all made up crap. No one went to talk to people, find out the real issues, its all been assumed and reported as fact from the desk of a “staffer” somewhere in the bowels of the newspaper’s offices, a newspaper that thinks they have their finger on the pulse of the people.
But really all they are doing is fueling the negative attitudes of the masses that read this tripe, and alarmingly, its started to rub off on me. Lately I’ve been looking over my shoulder every time I walk out the door, whether its walking the dog down the park (the same park where an Indian student was recently killed), crossing the road, or going out at night. Any minute now I’m going to be bashed, stabbed, or run over by a P – plater doing 270kmh in a 60 zone. I’ve seriously come to question whether the city is still the place for me.
Then one weekend my wife and I had a lovely night out in the city. Dusk till dawn. And you know what, we didn’t see one ounce of trouble. The streets were attractively lit, and full happy people enjoying everything on offer, even after midnight.
Then it struck me – I’ve been duped. I’ve been subconsciously drawn into the media’s world of booze fueled violence, social disorder and racial tension.
So, I’ve decided to boycott the media as of today. I’m not going to be sucked in by their constant drivel and negativity any more.
I’m not talking about putting my head in the sand – I’m talking about drawing a line in the sand. I know bad stuff happens every day – but so do good things. Its just that the good things are buried behind the bad things, and even then they’re only “feel good” stories pigging-backing on the tail of some negative story from yesterday e.g. “Community rallies around stabbing victim”, “Overwhelming support for bushfire victims”, “Footy star visits cancer ward”. There is never any stand alone “good news”.
So I’m choosing a slightly higher ground from here on in, and concentrating on the positives – the good in people and the city. Its out there. It always was. I just allowed myself to be blinded.