I was living and working in the Los Angeles area back some years ago. It was around the early nineties. There was that long drawn out continuous soap opera known as the OJ trial going on at the time. The whole world seemed glued to it’s every breaking development. 

Up until that time, it appeared to me, that news consisted mainly of facts, figures, world events and statistics. Sure it seemed grim, serious and authoritative. But it sounded quite factual, believable and not too slanted. 

However, on looking back on it now, That particular time appears to be the point where the news as we knew it changed most remarkedly. From then until now news sounds much more like tabloid gossip and looks like subliminal conditioning. 

NBC, CBS, ABC, etc. all sound so much like The National Enquirer now.

What we call mass media news today, I would say, is digitized, polarized, sanitized, homogenized, politized and feminized. After being run through all these filters then, if approved and blessed by the powers-that-be, it may be deemed suitable for digestion by us consumers.

But hopefully we are more than non thinking programed consumers.

We should have some say-so and determinism over our own lives, thoughts and decisions. We are not sheep.

So these days many have turned away from the traditional media. They seek news, information and factual data on current local and world events on alternative channels such as the Internet. 

As an effect of this, viewership of major TV channels has declined significantly. Readership has decreased steadily also for many newspapers. They are struggling to maintain their circulation and remain in business. 

Radio stations seem to be exploring other avenues that may interest their listeners. There’s a heavy emphasis on polarized political talk shows and sports, sports, sports.

Many people these days are creating their own little news sites. They share their latest adventures and experiences with family and community on sights such as Facebook. Pictures of smiling kids and cute pets brighten their websites even though they may open a door to their privacy. Still they are being self determined about their communication and the news they share is generally bright, cheerful and good.

Good news? Gee that’s a complete reversal to how it’s been forever. We could actually have such a phenomenal change? There could be a bit of hope and positive outlook finally?

I know of course life is not all Pollyanna, lollipops, roses and wonderland. But it also is not as dark, gloomy and terrible as the mainstream media regularly paints it. 

Are we not in pursuit of happiness? So shouldn’t we promote it? Isn’t it good to be part of life and living? An honest smile and genuine friendship can beat out sour animosity and resentful antagonism any day. 

If the news channels were really “fair and balanced” then they would have to include an equal number of uplifting, cheerful and life affirming stories and features along with their gloom and doom fare.

Just imagine the awesome change this could bring about in our society.

Sure there is the negative side. Crime, corruption and suffering still exist. But these constitute just a small section of our of daily life. To highlight and dwell on them exclusively is to pull a dark cloud over our world.

Feel it down in your shoes

Seems all you do is loose 

When listening to the news

Comes the low down no good blues 

But it’s better than it should

There’s a brightness in the hood

You smiled because you could.

For a change the news is good

Dan O’Connor can be reached at danhughoconnor@gmail.com