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Negativity in the media

Gazette student columnist says 2016 wasn’t 'as bad as we thought'

Student Life | Student View

By Brittany Taylor

Negativity in the media.

Are we part of the problem?

The media often has a tendency to focus on the negative events that occur in our society. It feels as though whenever we turn on the television or radio, we hear about yet another disastrous event that took place in our world.

As terrible as the news can be, we continue to listen to it and watch it anyway. So, do we blame the media for the constant stream of negativity in our society? Or do we blame ourselves for continuing to feed into it?

The “negativity bias”

Psychologically speaking, the media may not be entirely to blame.

After being subjected to equal amounts of positive and negative information, many people have a tendency to only remember the negative.

“Perhaps we are partially to blame, as we tend to only remember negative news since it affects us much more strongly than positive news.”

This is what psychologists refer to as the “negativity bias,” meaning negative information has a larger impact on us psychologically than positive information.

With this in mind, perhaps part of the problem is us. Perhaps we are partially to blame, as we tend to only remember negative news since it affects us much more strongly than positive news.

A positive outlook

Even if we are partially to blame, that doesn’t change the fact that there is still a lot of negativity continuously reported by the media.

There is no doubt that 2016 hasn’t been the easiest year, economically or politically speaking.

With Christmas rapidly approaching, I think it’s time we attempt to end this year on a good note and prepare for a fresh start in the New Year. With that in mind, I’d like to point out some positive things that happened this year.

Sports, equality, space, environment and health

Locally speaking, we had a terrific year for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians in sports. Corner Brook’s Katarina Roxon took home a gold medal in the women’s 100-metre breaststroke at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games and Kaetlyn Osmond, from Marystown, recently took home a silver medal at the 2016 Cup of China figure skating competition.

In addition to having a successful year in sports, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently appointed the first Newfoundlander to the bench of the Supreme Court of Canada: Justice Malcolm Rowe.

“These are only a few examples of some of the wonderful things that have happened in our world this year.”

Our federal government has made some breakthroughs as well, as Canada now has its first gender-equal cabinet.

Globally speaking, we’ve done a number of remarkable things this year. NASA’s Juno space probe entered Jupiter’s orbit. The world’s tiger population has gone up.

India planted 50 million trees this year in order to help fight climate change and beat the world record set by Pakistan in 2013 — if only all wars were fought that way!

Furthermore, we’ve had new chemotherapy breakthroughs this year and the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge donations have led to the identification of a new ALS gene that brings us one step closer toward finding a cure.

Goodbye 2016

These are only a few examples of some of the wonderful things that have happened in our world this year.

But, if you still aren’t convinced, then I bring you the best piece of positive news yet: 2016 is almost over.

We’ve almost made it to the end of the year. We must try our best to remain focused on all that is positive in our world as we say goodbye to 2016 and welcome in 2017 with all that it has to offer.


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