Negative News Respite

By chance, I found myself watching a generic national news program on Sunday evening. Remember those? It was ABC I think.

It was probably only on for 15 minutes or so, but the stories I saw were human interest stories. There was a piece on the White Hats (aka the White Helmets in Syria), a random mono-rail fire and finally a baseball/cancer story featuring Chase Utley. They were all focused on regular people.

Maybe I’m more out of touch than I realize, but the content struck me as less national newsworthy and much more Facebook feed-worthy. It took me a moment to realize why I was temporarily captivated.

I got lost in a (mostly) pleasant distraction.

Why?

The news cycle is exhausting. I’m certainly not alone in that feeling, and part of my job is to be up on the news.

People want respite. Smart marketers and programmers will deliver it.

The beauty is it doesn’t have to be trite or devoid of meaning either.

There are clever ways to generate a sincere emotional response that is at odds with the firehose of information coming out 24×7 in all caps from the Twitter-verse.

We may have greater emotional reactions to fear and pain, but when we are being bathed in fear and pain constantly, a little positivity cuts through like a beacon of light.

If done correctly, these messages can stand out. If done correctly, people will stop and watch. If done correctly, these messages can impart positive change.

Context matters. Ask not what we noticed, but why we noticed it.

Well played Sunday evening news for reminding me of this.

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