Since consumer spending represents ~2/3 of the economy, consumer confidence is key. Intense coverage of economic news, good or bad, can amplify the swing in consumer sentiment directly attributable to the economic trend; and incorrect or skewed coverage of economic data can temporarily pull consumer sentiment against its tendency to flow with the actual economy. Most news is about affluent people, almost by definition, since the main actors in the news are public officials.
That means news outlets dutifully reporting economic news, but engaging in hyperbolic or excessive coverage (say, during an election season, when ratings swell and the public is engaged) can undeservedly harm or goose an incumbent party. It also means that if a news outlet’s primary purpose is political engineering, it will have an incentive to play economic news strategically. But a previous Pew survey revealed that most of the older set doesn’t get news from any online source.
And from that vantage point, conservative media’s dismissive treatment of good economic news, along with good news about Obamacare and so on, is completely logical, as is its asymmetrical obsession with bad economic news, Obamacare glitches, and on down the line. I think it’s important to report bad things that are happening around so everyone is alerted, however, I think good news is seldom reported anymore and it should be reported. Media can play a great role in molding opinion and good news can certainly keep people cheerful.
So if we are able to focus on good things we can help to create good all around us. We create what we focus on. And that is why it is so depressing wehen you watch the news because the only thing you see is bad. Now you work out which model these multi-billion dollar businesses (when statistically, 1 news viewer = about 0.75 of a viewer for the ensuing prime time viewing) are going to follow. Media is mostly interested in making sensational news at the cost of cornering acts of kindness.
Our world is full of bad news because it sells newspapers, advertising and so on. How great though to leave flowers on a doorstep, pay the toll fare for the car behind, pop some money anonymously in the mail to someone who needs it or maybe give a small luxury item to cheer someone up. There’s so much we can do – even a smile or good word. Most of these stories are domestic news, usually about political or economic happenings, much of it originating from Washington.