‘It’s time to break the bad news bias’ – FFA

Positive News’ latest report confirmed what we have suspected for years: people are leaving mainstream news because it is so negative. 

ResearchThe Reuters Institute published data showing that 38% of people around the world avoid news. In the UK, that figure was 46 per cent – a rate that has nearly doubled since 2016. 

Among the reasons for disconnecting, 55 per cent of UK avoiders said, quite simply, that the news was bringing them down – the highest rate among the countries sampled.

We live in an epoch of converging crises, there’s no avoiding that. Global warming and biodiversity loss are urgent issues. The spiralling cost-of-living is putting pressure on households. Populist politicians are weakening democracy and eroding trust. Reporting on this stuff, and being able hold power accountable, is a key pillar of our democracy. 

People are becoming disillusioned and disconnected because of this focus on negative news. There is little coverage of solutions or the many positive things. In response, the team at Positive News are calling for an end to the ‘bad news bias’ across the media.

We believe that mainstream journalism needs to be more solution-oriented. Media can provide a balanced view of reality by reporting on both problems and progress. It can benefit people’s mental health and wellbeing, and crucially, it empowers people by showing that our actions matter and that change is possible. This is more important than ever.

We believe that mainstream journalism should be more focused on a solution-oriented approach.

So, we’re inviting other media outlets to join us in breaking the bad news bias – by continuing to cover what’s going wrong, but by also reporting with the same rigour and prominence on what’s going right. Our weekly newsletter, which provides a summary of the best news of the week, has been a beacon for our global audience and inspires them to be engaged in the world around us.

This kind of journalism is in demand. Positive News is reaching a greater number of readers than ever, as people try to unplug themselves from the doom-and-gloom media. 

When the magazine launched in 1993, as the world’s first constructive current affairs publication, it was with the long-term vision of changing journalism for the better. A change is needed in a world where more people are questioning their relationship to the news.

Gavin Haines, the digital editor at Positive News magazine, is Gavin Haines 

Help us continue breaking the bad news bias

Positive News is helping more people than ever to get a balanced view of the world – one that supports their wellbeing and empowers them to make a difference towards a better future. And as our audience and impact grows, we’re showing the rest of the media that good news matters.

But the UK’s cost of living crisis is hitting us hard, with fewer people able to commit to a magazine subscription – which has traditionally been our main source of funding. Additionally, printing and paper costs are on the rise.

We don’t want to put a paywall on our website, because we believe everyone should have the chance to benefit from good news. But we won’t be able to continue funding our online reporting without your help.

If you are a positive person and feel that you can afford it, consider making a regular, small contribution as a Positive news supporter. We need 1,000 readers to contribute just £3 per month to get us through this challenging time.

Remember, we are a non-profit organization and all funds support our journalism.