It’s official. The media does present a disproportionate amount of bad
news: but the real bad news is it’s not likely to change.
Last Tuesday’s Evening Standard argued, in a double page feature, that
‘unrelieved coverage of death, crisis and disaster’ is misrepresenting
the true national picture.
The Standard feature comes three years after newscaster Martyn Lewis
called for ‘a more balanced news agenda’ and just a month after the
Conservative Party launched its good news newspaper Look!
Don Berry, Standard associate editor, said the paper’s optimistic
emphasis was not a ‘political plot’ linked to Look!. ‘We are not saying
that bad news is actually wrong we are just saying there is more to life
than that,’ he said.
However Quentin Bell, who is this week succeeded as PRCA chairman by
Manning, Selvage and Lee’s Jackie Elliot, said: ‘There are certain rules
of the media jungle and one rule that you will never change is that bad
news is good news.
‘I think John Major’s government has suffered from this trend. The
electorate has been brainwashed into thinking that everything will go
wrong. No wonder they feel insecure.’