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September 28th, 2016

Negative Media has Effect on Society

Editor,
We feel that negative media is a problem in society that needs solving. The media is ridiculously unbalanced. We observed that on all major news websites, over 70% of the news is negative!

Jon Gordon, an international best-selling author, said,” A society in a state of depression can’t think its way out of a crisis.”

People are being brainwashed by the onslaught of negative media. Claude Levi-Strauss, an anthropologist, studies show that there is an increase of neural firing in the brain when shown negative media. This means that our brains are triggered more by negative media than by neutral and positive media. The overwhelming negative media is causing people to see the world in a negative way.

According to neuroanthropology.net, “The news is a mirror in which millions look every night and what they end up seeing in the reflection is a life in imminent danger.”

People don’t need to be so overwhelmed with negative media. More positive and neutral media is very important so that people can start viewing the world in a more positive way. Social learning theory is a widely accepted theory created by scientist Albert Bandura. This theory states that we learn through observation. We are a visually learning species. Due to all the negative media people are learning to see the world in a negative way.

If the media were to become balanced people would learn to see the world in a more positive way, and will believe that we live in a good world. We aren’t proposing that people only see positive media. It’s very important that people are informed, but not brainwashed. Unfortunately, it is true that most news in our world is negative and uninspiring, but that doesn’t mean that there is no positive events happening in the world.

We created a pie chart of what we think an ideal news station would be. The five greatest categories are politics, inspiring stories, war, natural disasters, and activism. This includes two positive categories (inspiring stories and activism), two negative categories (war and natural disasters) and one neutral category (politics, can be good or bad). This balance emphasizes the importance of not being negative, and the importance of being informed.

In a recent survey we did, 26 out of 29 people said that more than 70% of media is negative. We propose a balance of about 50% negative due to the fact that there is simply a lot of negative news in the world, 35% positive news and 15% neutral. So half of media is negative, and the other half would be a mix of positive and neutral. This is a very ambitious goal, but we believe that it would be beneficial to society. People could learn to see the world in a positive light, and people will believe that they can improve the world, and that it isn’t a lost cause.

Julian Silva-Forbes, Jason Schwartz and Jackson Ellnor

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