The Yin and Yang of Good News and Bad News

123rf.com's Good News Bad News origami image

123rf.com’s Good News Bad News origami image

Life is full of hills and valleys.”  Those seven words that my father told me years ago still ring true in my ears today.  It surely seems that life is full of ups and downs.

The juxtaposition of success and failure in life highlights an important question that we all can consider: is it possible to be successful in life without having failed at some point?

If national news coverage is any indicator, the answer to that question is, “no.”  U.S. media outlets today are quick to report the downfalls of our national “heroes” – individuals who often previously are deemed by that same media as darlings for having achieved successes in their respective fields. Need some recent examples?

Consider all of the national news articles that you may have read in the past about cycling great Lance Armstrong, and then consider the recent news coverage of his doping admission and fall from grace. And, do you recall how former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and military officer David Petraeus was heralded nationally by the media over the years?  Now, think of all the news coverage about his adulterous affair and ultimate resignation from the CIA.

If U.S. “heroes” like Armstrong and Petraeus reflect who we are and what we can achieve and accomplish in terms of success, we can surely expect some failures along with our successes and to experience a mix of good and bad in the cocktail of life.

How do you feel about the U.S. media today in terms of reporting the successes and failures of individuals?  Do you think that news coverage of the good and the bad is equal in weight?  Or, do you think our national news outlets provide more coverage when it comes to reporting the failures of those who have previously been successful?

Last, are we currently addicted to seeing the rise and fall of individuals in U.S. news reporting? And, if so, why?  Maybe it’s because we’re all climbing, as media-hailed and media-slammed Miley Cyrus sang a few years ago.

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