– Hasan Ferdous*
Whenever we open a newspaper, we see a bad news. Political mud-throwing is surely there; news about murder, highway robbery, rape and corruption extend all over the pages. Countless news on the rise of the militants are there. Well, is there no news about good information? Why don’t we find any good news anywhere! Observing the situation it seems that newspapers and TV Channels are eager to publish and broadcast selected news which tremor the bosom, injure the mind. Asking my editor friends I learned that everybody advances the same logic that bad news run well, the reader likes to read this kind of news.
Perhaps the contention is not totally false. Israeli psychiatric Noble Laureate Daniel Kahneman says, our brain everyday and every moment processes good-bad news. A part of the brain called ‘Amygdala’ produces a sign of danger. Due to this ‘Amygdala’ our ancestors could find out the path of self defense by getting ahead thousands of danger signal from the nature.
Whenever any minute sound occurred in a bush by virtue of this ‘Amygdala’ they could understand that a snake or a tiger hid in that bush; therefore you all flee away. Modern man has found out a different way to avert the danger of tiger-snakes, but his anxiety on danger has not wiped out. Due to ‘Amygdala’ he even now picks up his ears about the bad news.
I am not a psychiatrist, I have no faith in psychiatry.People are more zealous in bad news – my mind does not permit me to believe in such a perception. Rather I have the belief in such a contention that if the news can be reached to the readers with importance they would go through those ones with eagerness. You need not be a Nobel Prize winner to prove this contention; just a look on the social media facebook off and on would suffice.
It is not that no bad news are there but the news that attracts the attention of the readers is inevitably positive. If we take the account how much positive news side by side negative news is ‘shared’ it would divulge the truth, I think. Let us give an example. Few days back I read the story of a physician from Dinajpur in the face-book. I don’t remember, perhaps the news I saw in the Prothom Alo. The gentleman is Basanta Kumar Roy by name. It is an event of half a century ago. After his medical graduation, in spite of accepting a job in the Dhaka city or in another big city, he started practice in his own district town at a nominal fee.
Nominal fee means 1 (one) taka. Basanta Roy has been carrying out his responsibility for years at a stretch. By now his visit fee has been enhanced to 40 Taka. People would benefit his service – on this object he has made his own brother a physician.
It was a big report; my mind got impregnated on reading the news. I noticed how innumerable persons made admiring words to it; they gave ‘like’.
It is not at all a super normal story; perhaps there are more such Basanta Roys in our country. If their stories are published, people ‘won’t accept’ – there is no reason to think so. But when our bottle milk feeding newsmakers supply only bad news; where is scope for eating the good news?
Readers want to get good news, I don’t know where, at any other place this fact works but the editors of American newspapers now in a planned way have started presenting good news to the readers. As for example, New York Times has initiated a regular separate column titled ‘This Week in Good News’. The good news more or less that are published in the newspaper, a few of those news are selected and published in this column with importance. The objective is that after going through this news the reader may think that humanity has not died; man as yet loves man; somebody still today stands by the helpless or indigent persons.
Explaining the reason for publishing ‘Good News’ separately the editor of the News Paper has written that, we are normally hump-backed with the burden of bad news. But it is not that all news are bad. The purpose of this column is that the readers may at the weekend go smiling-faced, hope in mind all over.
On 5 April, 2018 the 7-8 items of news were compiled in the ‘Good News’ column. Out of them the very first one cheers the mind. The news is of such a type. The learners and teachers of different schools in the USA had made an appeal through a website informing about their wants. Perhaps some had wants for ink-pen, some had no instruments of science class, some others had no money for purchasing books from the library and some others perhaps had the want of computer and so on. A teacher of a school in Bronx used to submit these requests in his own website. Learning this information a company named Ripal declared to contribute solely 2 Crore 90 lakh dollars. With this money it was possible not only to satisfy the enlisted every request, but monetary help to many others could have been sent.
In another ‘Good News’ it was informed that the US scientist have come forward in protection of animal species that are facing extinction with the help of an infrared camera and technology. The group of animal who is going to receive this benefit first is a kind of hare in Malaysia.
In this column in a video news there is a news of snow monkey’s story who are bathing in group in a warm spring for overcoming the cold. In the same column there is a ‘photo story’ where things about the Japanese cherry blossom have been told. The mind fills with an unknown pleasure looking at the snow-white forest of flowers.
Not New York Times alone, other news establishments also produce selected good news separately for the readers-viewers. Microsoft has created a nice news site for its web-readers. Here side by side politics, recreation, games, etc. a regular column has been started which has been named ‘Good News’. While writing column I have read a story of a mother in Milwaukee:
Few years back an infant son of a young mother named Lesley Morisset died of cancer. To keep the memory of her own son alive she reached electronic items like laptop or I-pad to other cancer baby patients, particularly those who were poverty-stricken. She has by now helped this way more than one thousand six hundred babies. She initiated the work alone but now many people are by her side.
Not only in News Paper, I have noticed that in many TV Channels arrangement has been made to telecast ‘Good News’ separately. Not only any super normal, unthinkable news but about a simple person, as of a mother like Lesley Morisset that make us think that anyone of us may become such a ‘hero’.
The purpose of producing this episode of good news in foreign news paper is only one; it is an attempt to make a request to the editors of newspapers and the producers of TV Channels in Bangladesh so that they also become conscious of the matter of reaching the good news of this kind to the readers and viewers. I don’t say that they don’t produce good news but I think that they have no care and plan always behind the presentation of these news. If they would use one percent for good news out of one hundred percent of the time, labor and pages of news paper that are used for explaining the political quarrels, they would in that case earn the feelings of gratitude from the readers; there is no doubt about it.E
* Special Correspondent of Prothom Alo
in the United States of America.
** Translated into English by ‘The Economy’ Analyst.