Do you only read tragedies?

Tragedies aren’t just confined to the domain of fiction; they can also be found in real life. Despite this, newspapers fail to tap into readers’ propensity to empathize with victims of real-life tragedies. Rather of providing insight into the perpetrators’ human flaws, journalists frequently report crimes in a way that makes us want to criticize and condemn them.

A doctor’s computer was discovered to contain thousands of pornographic photographs of minors, according to a BBC report. He acknowledged to looking at the photographs and was barred from dealing with children for the rest of his life. The evidence is described as “sickening” in the article.

However, no attempt was made to explain what might have prompted the doctor’s actions, or to mention that many prominent online porn sites operate on the edge of legality. Furthermore, the doctor’s life took a terrible turn after he was abandoned by his wife and kid, and with his profession and family shattered, he tried suicide in prison.

The BBC should have given him more context and compassion instead of portraying him as an inhuman beast; while his acts were heinous, the doctor’s background was undoubtedly more sad and nuanced, possibly akin to that of a Shakespearean murderer.

Some believe materialism to be one of the major ills of our time, however, as with so many things in the news, the picture is rarely as black and white as it appears. Consumerism is ultimately a quest for meaning. Consumers do not purchase items just because they have the financial means to do so. The product often has some existential worth for us, making us wish to have it in our life.

A typical description in a restaurant review reflects this phenomenon: “a grilled sea bream is provided on a strong wooden table with a white napkin and plain flatware, seasoned merely with a bit of sea salt, parsley, and lemon.” For many readers, the basic elegance of such a dish embodies the perfect lifestyle: dignified, self-contained, in touch with nature, and neither fussy nor extravagant.

When clients learn about a hotel that is “peaceful and restful,” they are drawn to it in the expectation of experiencing a few days of perfect stillness and tranquillity. Consumer news may appear to be disposable, yet it provides insight into the true qualities people desire, such as “calmness” in the example above.

Even the Buddhist Zen precepts advise people to use specific objects to learn more about themselves. Celadon pottery, for example, is made of a jade-green ceramic that is thought to symbolize simplicity and egoism.

Similarly, we have a tendency to drive what we want. A small sports vehicle, for example, may represent playfulness, but a large SUV may be an attempt to compensate for certain flaws. However, no one should consider materialism to be a viable answer to existential issues. Obviously, a car is incapable of drastically altering a person’s personality. Objects, on the other hand, can prompt us to pursue something that is already within us – something that just needs a little prodding to emerge and develop.

So, instead of cars and shoes, what should be written about in the pages of a consumer news report are the new goods that will give us confidence and peace. The expansion of sites where news can be consumed is a major issue for both readers and news organizations. While having more options is preferable to having none at all, it also means that news editors will have a harder time attracting readers.

While editors debate whether to devote more or less time to specific stories, readers can now edit for themselves thanks to technological advancements. Google News allows consumers to customize their news by modifying settings and preferences to show their level of interest in certain areas. They can, for example, emphasize entertainment and politics while downplaying sports and finance.

However, readers may develop a skewed picture of the world as a result of this kind of power. You can wind up with one-sided news that merely confirms your views and provides no opposition if you block certain items. In other circumstances, you may opt to block news that you find offensive, even though it is critical information for comprehending the present status of the globe.

It could also be information that will help you in other ways. You might dismiss articles about successful people if you’re easily envious, yet these stories can actually teach and encourage you.

You could, on the other side, be someone who only follows tragic stories and heartbreaking news from the world’s most problematic regions. This can not only give you an imbalanced vision of the world, but it can also suck all of your empathy, leaving you fatigued and unable to aid those in your immediate vicinity who may want understanding and care.

So, whatever path you choose, make sure to get a well-rounded view of the world. All of the information you require is available; all you need to do is search for it.

The news isn’t dull; it’s just poorly conveyed. There are actual and astonishing stories of what it means to be human behind the dry numbers of the economic pages, confusing headlines, and impersonal snippets of information about war in foreign nations — stories of emotion, power, brutality, and ambition.

So read the newspaper, even the parts that are uninteresting. Politics and economics have just as much influence on our daily lives as culture, sports, and entertainment. Examine the items that irritate you, consider how the material applies to you, and grow as a more complete and informed human being.

Check out my related post: How can we fight against fake news?

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