But then I do have memory of what I believe was a turning point in war communications as recorded in one of Alistair Cooke’s ‘Letters from America’ when he noted these changes, particularly picking up on the fact that TV reports were coming live for the very first time, from Vietnam. He commented, if my memory serves me right, that for the very first time, the threats to American lives being shown live on TV, became a major influence by turning public opinion against that war.
It is fairly common on TV news reporting today to have a news reporter speaking from an area where shells are falling nearby and pictures are shown of devastated buildings and even bodies lying in the streets. If we have become accustomed to such things, the emotional pressure has been pushed up even more by the use of social media by ordinary people in the war zones, texting out or sending tweets or adding to Facebook, making even more poignant the fact that wars involve women and children, people just like you and me, and we hear their pleas for help and feel inadequate..
I am sure I have commented on this before but surely the blank responses to these pictures and reports that we see and hear, must come from being anaesthetized by the shear volume of such reporting, and the sense of being helpless to change these things. We might feel guilty if we acknowledged a desire to scream, “Stop showing us these things!” because deep down we would like to feel we empathize with those who are suffering. But then refugees turn up on our border and we find a contradictory self-
We observe the news and see comments about how we have, as a nation, failed to integrate nationalities and cultures that we have taken in over the part thirty or so years. We live in a complex world and it is going to get more complex and it may be that complexity that might tempt us to run screaming to find a cottage deep in the country with no outside communication sources!!! But that we know, realistically, is not going to happen, so how do we cope with the worrying complexity of the world in which we live?
There is a Bible quote, and I think this is the first such quote I’ve used on these pages, but it seems appropriate, that says, “whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” i.e. balance up your mind intake by thinking about good things as well as struggling to cope with all the bad things. Unfortunately the news media relishes the bad things. I think that is why I try to keep these articles fairly light-
You want to change it? Become an MP or become a member of Green Peace or some other similar campaigning organisation, or write letters to people in power. Maybe, just maybe, your efforts will indeed bring change in some way. We are, after all, living in a world where the world ‘populism’ has come to the fore, meaning power by the people joining together to speak up and bring change. Perhaps this is one of the big significant changes that has taken place in our lifetimes. Only time will tell. But in the meantime, enjoy the world.
I add on random quotes at the end of these articles to add even more lightness but sometimes they do actually shed light. One of them last time stood out to me: “The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.” Link that to another one there, “Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old,” and you have a powerful philosophy to keep you sane in the face of the war madness that the media keeps on reporting and powerful dictators insist on creating. Stay sane! Keep balance. As I wrote last time, this world is too good to miss! Don’t let modern media pull it out of perspective. There will always be bad people, but there are a lot more good ones. Are we living in an era where the good voices will rise up against the bad ones? Watch this space. And now to finish….
Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don't know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!
The news media are, for the most part, the bringers of bad news... and it's not entirely the media's fault, bad news gets higher ratings and sells more papers than good news.
More information is always better than less. When people know the reason things are happening, even if it's bad news, they can adjust their expectations and react accordingly. Keeping people in the dark only serves to stir negative emotions.
“This is what I say: I've got good news and bad news. The good news is, you don't have to worry, you can't change the past. The bad news is, you don't have to worry, no matter how hard you try, you can't change the past.
"Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”
"Life's challenges are not supposed to paralyze you; they're supposed to help you discover who you are."
Bernice Johnson Reagon
"Problems are not stop signs; they are guidelines."