Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Anything but the (bad) news

I follow a number of organizations and pages over on Facebook. These pages either represent various brands I like or share information and content I enjoy. One of my favourite pages by far, however, is Overheard in the Newsroom. Everyday I see at least one to two anecdotes submitted by members from various newsrooms that resonate. Quotes can range from the daily hilarious one liner to something more significant. Like this one (pictured below), posted two days after the Connecticut school shooting on December 14th, 2012. 

Screengrab courtesy of StraightFromTheCurls

In a day when news is literally available at our fingertips, it can be hard to tune out. From newspapers to 140 characters on Twitter, if something is trending, we're going to hear about it -- whether good or bad. But it seems like these days, it's mostly bad. Bad news is magnified. It's what sells. If we're not getting the straight skinny, we're getting the angles. And the worst part is the rush to get the information across. For instance, in an effort to be the 'first' to break news to the worldwide audience, news agencies didn't fact-check the information they provided about the true identity of the Sandy Hook killer or his relationship to the school.

I think that's what frustrates me the most. When I work with interns I try to drill the importance of fact-checking their work before hitting the submit button. Yes, in the online world we're able to edit our work as soon as we notice our mistakes, but news travels so fast that the ramifications of false information circulating over the Internet (even for mere minutes) can create a negative ripple effect.

Anyway, I guess my point in all this is that sometimes silly news is good news. It's healing. Viral videos of puppies driving cars or cute cards with catchy phrases are more than welcome amidst such sadness. In fact, I told someone the other day that there should be a Funniest Home Videos channel. Laughing uncontrollably for even 15 short minutes can make such a difference to our overall health.

So with that said, here are my five favourite links from this past week. At some point or another they've either made me giggle at my desk or want to share them with coworkers and friends. I hope you get a laugh (or two) from them, and I also hope you'll feel inclined to share them with those who need them the most.

1. Said dog on bicycle referred to in the Overheard in the Newsroom comment.

2. A Boston terrier puppy who can't keep his hind legs down while eating.

3. 11 people we don't want to see in 2013 (yes, Donald Trump made this list).

4. Emergency Puppy: The Twitter account I'm so gratefully following. (You should too.)

5. And my most favourite compilation... 40 of the cutest things that happened in 2012.



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