Forcing Good News on Us?

I saw the following today from a blog on international journalism:

"The Romanian senate passed a law last week requiring the media to provide their audiences with 50 percent positive news. The bill’s creators say the law will help fight the harms of negative news and its effects on
people’s lives.

"But Romania’s National Council for Audiovisual Broadcasting, the group that will be responsible for deciding what is positive and negative, has criticized the bill, stating that news should reflect reality – whether
positive or negative – independent of any laws."

The blog went on to ask people to comment on this. I left the following:

First things first: mainstream media outlets specialize in passing on tragedy, violence, corruption, death, etc., etc., because they are absolutely certain that is what pays the bills. And until WE choose not to be willing participants in this, they are correct.

Then we need to ask if we want government regulating the media. Not particularly. BUT if this law in Romania improves the quality of life — yes, I realize that’s much harder to measure than defining "negative" or "positive" news — but a significant shift in what the media pushes our way CAN potentially reduce the level of fear and distrust in a society and this can be palpable.

I say: Romania, give it a shot! I’d much rather the media outlets come off of their determination to pummel us with bad news even though it’s at the behest of a government regulation.

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2 Responses to “Forcing Good News on Us?”

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  1. Grahame says:

    I don’t like the idea of government regulation of the media, but when the media abuses the right to freedom of speech by bombarding us with a disproportionate amount of bad news, propaganda and mis-information then we should not be surprised when someone takes steps to remove that freedom.
    What the people in the media should learn from this law is that they will lose their rights if they keep abusing them.

  2. Stan Dubin says:

    You make an excellent point, Grahame. Perhaps other media points will indeed take this to heart. Romania has put the proverbial head-on-a-pike and let’s see how it shakes out elsewhere!

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