Negative Ripples | Teen Ink

Negative Ripples

May 15, 2009
By Shane Miller BRONZE, Bellingham, Washington
Shane Miller BRONZE, Bellingham, Washington
1 article 0 photos 7 comments

Murder, terrorists, pandemics, and arson are all not surprising for a seven year old to see… but why? The negative news broadcasted on T.V. is viewable by anyone in the United States. Isn’t it time that some positive events find their way into the news, so that the pessimistic view of the world does not ripple and expand?

The television news media is more pessimistic than ever. Everyday murders and other horrible events occur. These events are displayed to our entire country on television news stations. But what about positive events? The news stations broadcast what attracts more viewers, so their competition does not lurch ahead. In a study done by Penn State, they found that negative news segments caused more physiological arousal than positive ones. Television news stations try to make as much money as possible, but they do not take into consideration the effects of negative news on everyday people.

When I turn on the T.V. the negative stories tend to grab my attention. There is more action, conflict, problems, etc.

During the recent economic crisis, all news stations reported about business failures and bankruptcies. In the car industry GM and Chrysler were often shown as struggling car manufacturers. They often were the face of the car industry, as they were constantly the topic of the news. But one car company, Ford, persevered through the tough times to stay alive without government help. Ford was never on the front of the news because their business was not closing or going bankrupt. The negative information about the car industry held property rights to the news. Also, a study by the Media Research Center in 2005 showed that only 15% of news stories about the Iraq War offered an optimistic assessment, and just eight stories focused on the heroism or valor of a U.S. troop while 79 stories aired about soldier misconduct.

The negative news does negatively impact our lives. For example, in the news lately there have been tons of reported business failures. This led many Americans to withdraw from the stock market, only worsening the economy.

All of the negative news also depresses many Americans. With all of the murder and arson coverage many Americans are led to believe that murder and arson are more common than they actually are. In college, my mom’s T.V. journalism class commonly repeated the slogan; “If it bleeds, it leads”, meaning that the more violent the story, the more likely the story should be the lead story on a newscast.

Negative news coverage can also give people false beliefs. According to an article written by Thomas Patterson the History News Network, “A study of the 1960-1992 campaigns found that negative impressions of presidential candidates increased step by step with the increase in negative coverage.” People obviously have too much trust in the T.V. news. I strongly predict that if negative news is continually broadcasted, then our country will only dig itself into a larger hole.

Happiness, life-saving, new inventions, and heroism are all uncommon to see on a T.V. Broadcast. Think about it… would you rather have seven year-olds watching murder cases, or acts of heroism? The negative effects of the news will ultimately increase unless something is done about it.

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This article has 9 comments.

on Jun. 15 2009 at 6:45 pm

sharked said...
on Jun. 6 2009 at 5:40 pm
If this isn't published to the magazine then I will be very suprised that TeenInk passed up this wonderful opportunity.

Qwerty102777 said...
on Jun. 1 2009 at 7:52 pm
Wow this is awesome.

on Jun. 1 2009 at 7:51 pm
Trevor Goodridge BRONZE, Bellingham, Washington
1 article 0 photos 4 comments
good job shane.


this really provides a point.

on May. 30 2009 at 2:48 pm
ParasiticVirtue SILVER, Arlington, Texas
5 articles 0 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Live like we're dying" -Kris Allen "Never take life to seriously. You'll never make it out alive" -Van Wilder "Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die tomorrow." -James Dean

I completely agree with you.

I have a 2 year old cousin who's mom is always watching the news.

I really don't like to answer the questions she asks about what she sees but i can't lead her to believe thats what the world is like.

Make a stand!

on May. 29 2009 at 9:21 pm
Kendrick Bradley SILVER, Bellingham, Washington
5 articles 0 photos 1 comment
This is just so great! but i didnt read it.

on May. 29 2009 at 1:12 am
Hallie Messenger BRONZE, Bellingham, Washington
4 articles 0 photos 21 comments
I totally agree. You make an excellent point, I hate the ugly stuff.

MarMar said...
on May. 28 2009 at 10:33 pm
This article has truly changed my opinion about the news on television. This editorial truly impacted my life.

on May. 28 2009 at 8:38 pm
hullothere GOLD, Bam, Washington
13 articles 0 photos 15 comments
You make a very good point in this piece.