Noni Hazlehurst, long time TV presenter and actor, spoke at a television awards night on Sunday.
What she had to say comprehensively echoed my sentiments.
She spoke of the daily bad news bombardment that we and (especially today’s kids) are faced with.
She mentioned depression, anxiety and suicide,
Noni: "We're all living under a heavy and constant cloud of negativity … I think it's because we're surrounded by bad news and examples of our … human behaviour…”
It brought to my mind that old Skyhooks song (written by Greg McAinsh) - ‘Horror Movie’.
In part it goes: ‘Horror movie, right there on my TV
Shockin' me right out of my brain’
‘The planes are a-crashin'
The cars are a-smashin'
The cops are a-bashin', oh yeah
The kids are a-fightin'
The fires are a-lightin'’
‘It's bound to be a thriller
It's bound to be a chiller
It's bound to be a killer, oh yeah’
And, of course, it turns out to be
‘Horror movie, it's the six-thirty news’
How very true…but how can we escape it?
"So here is my pitch: I'd love a channel that features nothing but stories that inspire us and reassure us and our children that there are good things happening and good people in the world.”
"I know it's a lot to ask for. But at the very least, a show that tries to redress this overwhelming imbalance, that counters bad news with good that encourages optimism not pessimism, that restores our empathy and love for our fellow human beings and the Earth, that redefines reality, that heals our hearts.”
Yes, I’ve written and spoken about this before but, to me at least, the need for some happiness, inspiration and positivity in our daily news feed is becoming almost urgent.
I appreciate the fact that we should know about what’s happening in our world today. But the fact that news broadcasters ignore what they possibly assess as simple and mundane in favour of the terrifying and tragic needs to be addressed.
By the time the “News” turns to sports and weather reports, I am usually feeling totally dispirited…and I’m a mature woman. If our young people are affected likewise, I hate to think what it’s doing to their psyche – and to any feelings of belonging in this (what’s portrayed as) awful, terrifying, crime-infested world!
Our local TV news station even has its own commercial asking for viewers to send them ‘News’ when they see it. The ad is accompanied by scenes of screeching police motorcycles and generally dramatic and (quite possibly) illegal activities.
What would it take for even the local ‘News’ station to, instead, suggest people send in leads to interesting and positive stories of people and happenings. Stories that might bring a smile to the viewers and even a feeling of contentment and achievement?
Surely ‘news’ other than wars, police stories, murders, robberies, car chases, fire catastrophes and terrorist activity can be found.
Sure, I know that people watching TV like to see some action, but don’t tell me that dramatic vision of a happening on the other side of the world is all that relevant to us as we sit in our lounge-rooms in Australia. But…action sells and this sort of negative action is what is also being dished up in movies – especially those aimed at kids.
What a bloody shame!
Have we really missed our chance to offer (on TV) a balanced and happier view of the world to our young people?
A positive view of life?
To reiterate Noni Hazlehurst’s words, can we please have something:
“…that encourages optimism not pessimism, that restores our empathy and love for our fellow human beings and the Earth, that redefines reality, that heals our hearts.”?
I choose to comment on social issues and write creatively on a variety of subjects - for a variety of audiences.