Criticality: Further Research into Topic

After the tutorial on Thursday I found myself going back to my research and pin pointing a more specific area and target audience for this project. When researching I came across this study called ‘ Publishing the Positive’ undertaken by Jodie Jackson in 2016. It demonstrated that people find that positive news can unite and inspire people.

“Participants expressed that an excess of negative news led them to see the negative in other people, and feel isolated from society. However, the opposite was experienced when participants read positive news, which created a sense of admiration for other people and ‘restored [their] faith in humanity’.” (Jodie Jackson, 2016)

Even though this study was conducted back in 2016 I think that it could still be very relevant to society today during the pandemic. We are seeing more negative news that previous years and this is bound to have an effect on well being and mental health. In an article to Positive News, Jackson states “Positive and negative news stories should not compete, but co-exist”. This for me got me thinking that this doesn’t appear to be happening on any platform which individuals might come into contact with the news at the moment.

News Outlet Analysis

I decided to do an analysis of the a newspaper and websites in order to gain an understand of the balance between negative and positive stories being shown to us. I looked at both the BBC and ITV news websites while also looking at a copy of the Daily Telegraph that I was able to get hold of.

When looking at both the websites it became clear that they were mainly negative stories being told. There wasn’t any really uplifting or positive stories on the main page when you get onto the website. The language being used in the headlines seems to be the reason why the perception of the news is mainly negative rather than positive. This is an area which I could potential look at disrupt, if the language was positive would this getting people thinking?

Furthermore, I noticed that the BBC did have a page for uplifting stories however, it wasn’t obvious how to get to it from the homepage on BBC News but it did get me thinking that there is some effort to highlight these stories but they aren’t being pushed as much as the negative ones.

When looking at the newspaper it became clear that there was a little bit more of a balance between the two types of stories. Although the main cover page was all negative headlines it was by the 2nd/3rd spread I was able to identify some stories that were more uplifting. Obviously in other climate I would look at a range of papers but I was only to get hold of this at this time. Newspaper are starting to get a balance between the two stories it got me thinking about why apps and websites can’t do the same thing? This could be another aspect that I look at disrupting, what would the space look like if there was more of balance between the two.

This research has enable me to get a better understanding on the visual languages that are out there at the moment and ideas of how I could disrupt them. I think the audience for this needs to be younger (young adults etc) as they are the ones who might not be reading the newspapers and will get their dose of the news through apps or website newsfeeds.


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