Next Wave International Next Wave International™ is a faith-based communications group which is
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Bad News Media? Report a "Crisis" or "Disaster"

Mal Fletcher
Posted 06 October 2011
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The 2020Plus international Think Tank studies likely future social change and its impact on innovative leadership.

The group is asking members of the public to contribute to a study on the impact of constant talk of ‘crises’ in the media.

Next Wave International is supporting the study and we would value the help of all the regular visitors to this site, in finding out how often negative words like "crisis", "disaster", "emergency" and "recession" are used in news programmes on TV and the internet.

We believe that the future isn’t primarily shaped by economic forces. The future is a largely a product of human reactions to those forces – reactions that are, to a large degree, influenced by human emotions.

Every economist knows that the first currency to suffer in recession is the currency of public confidence. Once confidence is damaged or devalued, it is slow to rebuild.

In the past year, as new recessionary forces have threatened to spread worldwide, sections of the news media have presented a near-constant stream of emotive and negative words which speak of new crises and imminent disasters.

The study, entitled "Bad News?", is explained on a designated page on the 2020Plus website.

Getting involved is easy and we value every person's response highly.

We're asking people to watch one or more news programmes on the TV or internet and let us know how many times they hear (or see printed on screen) one or more of the following words: crisis, emergency, disaster, disastrous, recession, recessionary, depression, desperate.

We then ask people to report, via twitter (@malfletcher) or email (, citing the name of the news programme(s), the words they tracked and the number of time they heard/saw each word.

The study will end on Sunday October 16.

Damaged public confidence and human emotions are often reflected in seemingly abstract measures of prosperity like GDP.

People who lack confidence in either themselves or the system will feel a depressive effect and their productivity naturally follows suit. The question is, are the news media – and those whose words they carry – helping or hindering a renewal of public confidence?

To get involved please click here.

To watch the BBC Breakfast interview introducing the study, click here.

What’s your view?

Is TV news too negative in tone?



Keywords: news media | media | uk media | recession | financial crisis | financial markets | depression | double dip recession | economics | economist | future

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