Ukraine crisis: ‘In times like these, it’s vital to manage our media diet’

In times of crisis, it’s more important than ever to manage our media diets.

Journalists are trying to keep up with the rapid changes in Ukraine. The Russian invasion is covered by most news outlets. What role do positive news stories have, when the Ukraine crisis is – as it rightly should be – dominating the news agenda?

We believe that most of our readers would agree that it’s important to engage with bad news; to not shut ourselves off from life’s challenges or threats, but to face them.

Before the advent of social media, broadband, and rolling news, it was much easier to do that. Bulletins were published daily and were regularly scheduled. Technology has changed the way we consume media. The three-square meals of our youth have been replaced with a vast array of crisps.

Two years ago, another crisis was triggered by the WHO. It knew that negative news could damage mental health and cause further distress during Covid. “Find opportunities to amplify positive and hopeful stories,” it advised. Subsequent studies vindicated the WHO: endless doom-scrolling was found to have contributed to people’s negative mental health during the pandemic.

To be able to digest and continue engaging with the awful news coming from Ukraine – which is set to overwhelm our feeds for who knows how long – we need balance in our media diets. Put simply, it’s easier to confront the bad stuff when you know there’s good out there too.

It’s easier to confront the bad stuff when you know there’s good out there too

That means, at the same time as understanding the problems that exist and the tragedies that are taking place, finding out about what is going right in the world too – which is plenty, by the way.

Every week, we distill it down in our Saturday morning newsletter. Here, we highlight the people and places that are working to find solutions in a difficult world and bring together key stories of progress.

Register, it may help you to stay sane. It does me good.

Gavin HainesIs the digital editor at Positive News magazine

Main image: William87/iStock