Wednesday 26 May 2010

No news is better news ...

I don't watch the TV news, nor do I read daily newspapers, for the simple reason that they're just full-to-overflowing with bad news from all over the world. Flashpoint after flashpoint.

However, I'm guessing that now that Bangkok has returned to its normal vibrant self again, Thailand is already out of the news altogether on the BBC and CNN. And your local TV station and daily newspaper. Am I correct?

I imagine they've already moved on to the next 'flashpoint' (or back to the old chestnuts of Iraq and Afghanistan) leaving in their wake images of Bangkok ablaze, burned (pardon the pun) into your memory. That's right -- you're left with this lingering image of the whole of Thailand in turmoil. And Thailand will receive no more news coverage until the next similar episode that warrants a minute or two of their airtime.

Incredulously, a friend of mine was saying he had a contact overseas who was asking recently 'Is the airport still closed?' That was nearly 2 years ago but that was the last he heard on the news so he presumed it still was! So it's not a case of 'no news is good news'. No news means you're left with the last perception you were given.

People, the news networks are not a charity nor a community service. They are hard-line businesses in their own right, in business to make money for their shareholders. Like any other business. They don't care if they trash a country and its reputation, don't care for the livelihoods compromised by their negative-only slants, nor the tourism industries they decimate. They just care about making headline news. And that, by definition, is bad news.

'If it bleeds it leads!'

I encourage you to tear up your subscriptions to news papers and switch off the TV news. Go outside and marvel at the wonderful world around you instead.

I do this in Chiang Mai everyday. And it is wonderful. Amazing even. Jing jing!

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