Recently I was angered by a misleading headline to a story about a young boy who auditioned for one of the televised talent shows. The headline trumpeted that a famous judge on the show, known for being cantankerous, had “humiliated” this young child. Foolishly, I fell for it. I clicked on the link to watch the video, fully prepared to be outraged by this judge and his cruelty, only to find a completely different story. The judge merely stopped the boy mid-song, which was a tad awkward, to ask him if there was another song he could sing. He stated that he felt the song choice wasn’t right for the boy. Readily the child offered another song and then proceeded to sing it and blow everyone’s mind with his talent. The original song was doing very little to showcase the boys talents and the judge, who is an expert in the music industry, was dead on in his advice. Instead of writing a feel good title about the boy and him amazing talent or even giving the judge credit for his fantastic instincts in such matters the author chose to laud the story as one of cruelty and drag people in to watch some perceived nastiness by a celebrity to an innocent child.
This seems to be the trend in our current media. Negativity sells. Celebrity does charity work, meh. Celebrity goes to rehab….ding!ding!ding! We have a winner folks! Man runs across the country to raise money for a worthy cause…stick it in as a side note. Athlete accused of domestic violence…..HEADLINE!!!! No story? Nothing salacious? Grab a famous name and print a misleading title and it will get you readers!
I try to avoid reading or watching the news. If I did, I’d never leave home. When I want to know what’s going on in the world I actively seek out the articles on the subject I want to learn about. I can not watch an hour long program filled with stories that highlight only what is wrong in our world. The few times I have spent time in front of the tv, watching a news program, I had to desperately fight the urge to hide under my bed with my husband and children safely beside me and the dust bunnies.
What ever happened to honesty and viewing the world in a positive light? I’m not saying only talk about rainbows and kittens but where are the journalists looking for the stories about the good in man. Are there no readers for this type of story? Has the world become so jaded that the only thing that can capture our attention is a salacious article about the misdeeds of a politician or a harrowing story of someone else’ misery. Do we really need so desperately to sooth ourselves with the knowledge that someone out there has it worse than we do? It’s an honest question. Can we as a society not feel happiness for our fellow man anymore? Do we need to know every time someone acts out in the worst ways? Can we, at the very least, not have some balance in good and evil. Is that really too much to ask for?