Bad news is bad news for society

When negativity is a vehicle for status

We’re wired to notice bad news over good. We assume this bias towards the negative must be realistic and helpful: if we know about problems, we’re more likely to act on them. Denise Baden argues that these assumptions are untrue and bad news can be harmful, making us unhappy, antisocial and less likely to take positive action. Good news doesn’t have to be propaganda or fluff – we should rebalance our news environment for a more accurate picture that’s better for us and society.  


The negativity in the news and journalism is well-documented – if it bleeds it leads. We are presented hourly with the world’s atrocities and reports of political upheaval, war, terror, environmental degradation, climate change and epidemics, and it is easy to feel disheartened and disengaged. This has an impact on our individual mental health as well as our political beliefs and motivations, helping fuel public intuitions that the world is getting

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