Why Do We Twist It So That It’s Bad News?

THIS is why I don’t watch (or listen to) the news.

I heard a report on our local news station that said (paraphrased by my memory), “Brain cancer is now the deadliest cancer among children.”

This is news because, as we all know, brain cancer is a horrific and deadly disease. So this is news.

Okay, I thought. Brain cancer must be on the rise.

But no.

There was a very small snippet – an almost ignored snippet – of a quote from an expert, someone who worked on the report for this finding.

She said, “This news is largely due to the higher success rates in treatment of leukemia patients.”

In other words, I thought, this is good news. Leukemia deaths are down, which has made brain cancer rise to the top of the heap of deadly cancers.

But the local radio station ignored this quote. They went right on, very quickly, almost talking over the “expert,” to spout some statistics about how deadly brain cancer is, and how many child deaths per year are attributed to cancer.

It was like they didn’t hear her at all.

Leukemia deaths are down! I wanted to scream. Why can’t they announce THAT? Why can’t THAT be the top story? 

Because the only news that brings in ratings is news that promotes fear.

That’s why I despise the media.

It’s why, back in the day, I stopped chasing a career in journalism. I wanted to write – not to report everything bad that was happening in the world.

Why can’t we report that a dog had puppies, and encourage people to come out and see them?

Why can’t we make a big fuss about the Teacher of the Year awards instead of focusing on the teacher who sent inappropriate texts to a teenager?

Why can’t we talk about the hardworking people in their offices all over the country, who have little successes every day that keep them coming back to their jobs, instead of waiting for someone to get caught embezzling millions of dollars so we can report the crime?

Why do we report only shootings and diseases and acts of violence and crime? Why don’t we ever report anything good?

Even when there’s good news to report, why do we twist it so that it becomes bad news?

I am stepping down off of my soapbox with just one tidbit of information:

Leukemia deaths are down. Good job, leukemia scientists!


  1. Kirsten says:

    I remember that song! Have the CD, in fact. Don Henley is brilliant, and hit the nail on the head way before I recognized what was going on! Thanks for sharing, Glenn.

  2. Glenn says:

    My only comment, “Dirty Laundry”, by Don Henley. Do you remember the song?

    I agree with your assessment about the news coverage.

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