Standard news that sells is often meant to spark controversy in order to gain readers, viewers, and/or listeners. The same principal of “rubber-necking,” or gawking at an accident on the roadside as you drive past, applies to the theory that negativity breeds publicity (as summarized in the old P.R. slogan, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity”). This outlook is even more obvious in the old journalistic maxim, “If it bleeds, it leads,” which dictates what stories gain front-page placement in newspapers and magazines, or what sound bytes and videos get prime programming placement in broadcast news shows.
But some audiences are so fed up with such viewpoints, they’ve turned to wholly positive alternatives—Spirituality and Health Magazine, Positive News, and HappyNews.com, just to name a few. These publications follow a different philosophy, that of, “happiness is contagious.” The opposite of “viral videos,” perhaps their material should be known as “immuno info”?
Positive News, a quarterly international newspaper with both online and print editions in several languages and countries, demonstrates the scientifically supported idea that happiness is contagious: New countries add their own editions every year—not by a conglomerate launch driven by marketing metrics, but rather via foreign readers who partner with Positive News Publishing Ltd. (founded in 1993). While the paper’s major slant is on the upside of world politics, it also spotlights small businesses around the globe who do good. Positive News has a youth edition, as well, that is currently offering a course in “positive journalism” in Shropshire, England, for international students aged 16–24. (If you or someone you know is interested, please note the deadline is July 1st, 2009).
HappyNews.com takes an even broader approach to joyful living, going beyond merely reporting good news and into the realm of teaching the art of living well—in every facet. In fact, the website shares an online magazine format with other features: from videos about cute animals and international feel-good news (“Supermarket to the Poor Opens in Serbia”) to mostly positively worded reviews of products and gadgets (“Reusable Water Bottles Go the Distance") to even—yes—positive world news on a variety of subjects, like “Environment,” “Health,” and even “Business/Money.” (Today’s surprising top headline: “Some Iranians Eager to do Business with U.S.”)
Spirituality and Health Magazine may have a more limited overarching theme (started in 1997 and published bi-monthly, it focuses primarily on “the people, the practices, and the ideas of the current spiritual renaissance”), but it, too, offers reviews—of books, films, and music that’s spirit-related. And in this case, “spirit” refers to all things heartwarming and uplifting, not to mention pan-religious.
Are you having a hard time looking on the bright side to see beyond the gloomy forecast of today’s rainy spring weather or troublesome world finances? Perhaps you simply need to read the right story about the promising power of growth through adversity to get you through your rut. Check out any of the links above, then check back here to talk about good news!
(c) KiKi Productions, Inc. 2009