Why There’s No Good News

Discussing briefly a key tenet from his latest book, The Rational Optimist, Matt Ridley looks at how and why pressure groups limit the amount of good news reaching the general public and those in decision-making positions:

There are huge vested interests trying to prevent good news reaching the public. That is to say, in the ruthless free-market struggle that goes on between pressure groups for media attention and funds, nobody likes to have it said that ‘their’ problem is not urgent and getting worse. […]

This is wrong on all sorts of levels. First, because it shows a staggering arrogance among pressure groups about who should be allowed to know the facts — almost amounting to attempted fraud. Second, because the way to encourage people to fund projects is to show evidence that they work, not that they are futile and ineffective.

Ridley also puts blame on the journalists for their unquestioning belief of claims of urgency and deterioration: “the two things that get editors’ attention”.



2 responses to “Why There’s No Good News”

  1. Interesting and sadly quite true. I’ve actually stopped following traditional news all together. I’ve found that technology news (I work part-time for a tech magazine) is actually quite optimistic – this is pretty much the only thing I regularly read about.

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