Unsavory news & the role of the media

If compared with the situation of daily newspapers as recently as three years ago, it has become more challenging: complex historical and geopolitical times have created a desire among the public to "think about something else"
© CdT/Archivio
Paride Pelli
20.06.2022 06:00

When compared to just three years ago, the situation of the media and newspapers in general has grown more difficult. The complex historical and geo-political period - plus two years of pandemic, which was closely followed by the outbreak of war in Ukraine - have generated a kind of desire in public opinion to "think of other things."

A Reuters Institute report released in recent days and the outcome of a survey conducted in five countries also attests to this: readers, now more than then, try to avoid "bad news" as much as possible. A real paradox when one considers just what consequences COVID and the war are having for us all, leading to social and economic repercussions that we shall later find in history books, and definitely not in the most joyous of chapters.

It goes without saying that serious media do not revel in "terrorism." Following the coronavirus, a surge in desire for certified information and an interest for news considered more hard-hitting, divisive and traumatic, such as war, inflation and the pandemic itself is avoided. People have tended to avoid this type of information as it affects moods and generates tension. In such paradoxical context, whether for natural reasons of survival or because they are principals of democracy, the media cannot allow the temptation to row the boat, rather they must reinvigorate by convincingly insisting on the beauty and usefulness of being able to read, in both print and digital form, in-depth news and considered commentary: often - it goes without saying with contents that are not comforting, but which are not replaceable by a glance here and there in their social timeline. All of this, then, at least, if one wants to live in a world in which staying informed is more about thinking and arranging the news rather than engaging in controversy or diatribe as an end in itself. When the environment allows, the media will return to reporting positive events. In the meantime, their unenviable but honorable task is to give readers all the news they require to assess how to navigate the world. Whether good or bad.