An Open Letter to Journalists

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One of the most monumental problems we face when it comes to pulling ourselves out of the recession is confidence.  Consumers aren’t quite sure if it’s safe to spend again, and businesses large and small aren’t quite sure if it’s okay to hire new people.  As long as consumers aren’t spending, businesses won’t hire (and vice versa).

Given the fact that we are now constantly absorbing headlines via Twitter, Tumblr, and TV, it’s safe to say that the media has a bigger impact on our confidence level than ever before.  News outlets are businesses, too, and many of them have found that negative headlines sell more subscriptions than positive.  But, as long as major news organizations keep telling us how bad things are, we can’t possibly expect our confidence levels to change.

I’m all for truth in media, and it’s absolutely necessary to report the situation as it is observed by the reporter.  There is a lot of negative news out there to be reported, but I assure you, there is also quite a bit of good that is ignored. 

What I’m asking is this: When there is negative news to report, let us know.  We depend on you for that.  But, we must be shown the good in this world, too.  We need to know that there are positive signs indicating that things are improving.  It might sound crazy, but if you’re going to run a negative headline on the cover of your publication, run the positive outcome in the same space when it is fixed.  For example, you made sure that everyone was aware that banks took a bailout from the government.  I doubt many people are aware that 99% of that money has been paid back, and that the government actually made a profit on that investment.  That kind of information is pivotal to our confidence level, but it’s often buried well behind the front page.

I understand that this type of reporting won’t necessarily generate more revenue for you.  But, when you take on the role of journalists, you must know that it is your duty first and foremost is to report the news as it happens, both good and bad. 

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  15. baconishealthfood said: I think you’re overestimating a bit the impact media has. People spend/don’t spend based on their OWN situation; ie are they employed securely or might they be laid off, are they in debt/out of debt. “Consumer confidence” itself is a media creation!
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