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ROTHENBURGER – The convoy – Don’t believe everything you read or see

‘Freedom Convoy’ news conference. (Image: CPAC)

EACH AND EVERY DAY, 100,000 airliners land safely. Nobody pays any attention to it. It’s not news. No headlines on the front page, no “breaking news” on TV.

How many airlines crash in a single day? Almost none. Somewhere around 0.03 to 0.04 on average. When one does go down, it’s big news.

That example is one I’ve used a number of times in media training sessions to help explain why there’s “so much negative news.” When nothing goes wrong, it means there’s nothing unusual to report.

Another thing I explain is that human beings are hard-wired to prefer reading about negative news to positive news. It’s actually in our DNA, part of our survival instinct. We’re always on the lookout for things that might threaten us.

So, negative news gets our attention. Our heart rate goes up; we become more alert. Positive news is a nice diversion from the negative but it doesn’t excite us as much as the bad stuff.

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Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at mrothenburger@armchairmayor.ca.

About Mel Rothenburger (8893 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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