|Photograph © vxla
|"Milking negative headlines to a point of hysteria is not smart. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy."
Words by Zarina Holmes
It’s official. The UK newspaper editors are paralysed by their own scare-mongering headlines.
For the past weeks, we haven’t seen many positive stories dominating the news.
It’s bad enough our New Year’s joy was hijacked by the post-Christmas Gaza bombings.
We’ve had enough being fed the same collective droning and moaning from different mainstream titles, yet curiously enough, the contents and the headlines are singing the same chorus.
Here are the Google results I got on “recession” recently:
“UK's deepest recession since 1980 needs David Cameron to step up to the plate” - 25 January
“Britain's recession will be deepest, IMF warns” - 28 January
“Unemployment will soar above 3 million in 2009, say chambers of commerce” - 1 January
“Global recession will hit UK hardest” – 22 October
“IMF warns Britain faces worse recession than any other country” - 30 January
“Clarke warns of deepest recession “ - 26 November
I must be the only one who is not on the Prophet of Doom PR distribution list, because everyone else gets the same story.
“People need to be told the truth about the real situation out there,” argued an editor to me.
My problem is that we have been fed the same “truth” since April last year.
Yes, the nation is going through a financial crisis. Yes, we know the system has fucked-up big time, the nation is in debt up to the eyeballs and things need to be fixed.
“I want to hear more about solutions, not problems,” said architect Max de Luca, who runs his own interior design business in London. Many small business owners have told me the same thing.
Confidence is a ridiculously fragile thing. Just look at how the share prices plummet when the headlines are gloomy.
I am not suggesting we should carry on living in denial as if the credit crunch was just a bad dream.
In a delicate situation like this, the last thing a nation need is low morale. Nothing sinks faster than a ship full of nervous crew.
Too many depressing stories make us weak in the head and in the heart.
Milking negative headlines to a point of hysteria is not smart. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
It is a lousy way to sell newspapers too. People will stop watching the news and watch Slumdog Millionaires instead.
So, media comrades, please don’t blame others too much if you are losing your jobs.
You have not been writing about new, inspiring things that people can really use right now.