Welcome to Halfman, Halfbook for my stop on the Blog Tour for You Are What You Read by Jodie Jackson and published by Unbound.
About the Book
Do you ever feel overwhelmed and powerless after watching the news? Does it make you feel sad about the world, without much hope for its future? Take a breath – the world is not as bad as the headlines would have you believe.
In You Are What You Read, campaigner and researcher Jodie Jackson helps us understand how our current twenty-four-hour news cycle is produced, who decides what stories are selected, why the news is mostly negative and what effect this has on us as individuals and as a society.
Combining the latest research from psychology, sociology and the media, she builds a powerful case for including solutions into our news narrative as an antidote to the negativity bias.
You Are What You Read is not just a book, it is a manifesto for a movement: it is not a call for us to ignore the negative but rather a call to not ignore the positive. It asks us to change the way we consume the news and shows us how, through our choices, we have the power to improve our media diet, our mental health and just possibly the world.
About the Author
Jodie Jackson is an author, researcher and campaigner. She holds a Master’s Degree in Applied Positive Psychology from the University of East London (UK) where she investigated the psychological impact of the news.
As she discovered evidence of the beneficial effects of solutions focused news on our wellbeing, she grew convinced of the need to spread consumer awareness. She is a regular speaker at media conferences and universities. Jodie is also a qualified yoga teacher and life coach.
When did you last see a good news story? We seem to have a diet of really bad news that never stops. Even when the presenter is talking about the latest disaster there is a ticker tape of sub-stories that expand to fill the vacuum of the entire day. It is just draining listening to or reading the stories that flood out of our media. I stopped watching a while ago now, and even though I buy the weekend papers, I tend to read the supplements rather than the main section. Thankfully though, there could be another way and campaigner and researcher Jodie Jackson wants to show us it.
First, though, you have to understand that psychology of why the media outlets produce the material that they do, Jackson goes into the details behind the headlines, why bad news rather than good news sells and the cumulative effect that this has on our mental well being. She addresses points on fake news, and churnalism, where journalists take a very liberal view of the truth in the speed to get the articles written for the ever hungry news machine.
She says that we don’t need to stop seeing bad news, being informed about significant world events is necessary, however, we need to limit our intake of it. What Jackson is advocating though is looking for alternative sources for your news, places that have taken time to do the proper research about a topic, can write with a balanced view and are seeking to inform rather than just go for the sensational headline. Seeking solution focused news sources that concentrate on innovation, initiative peacebuilding and positive responses to social issues need to make up a significant proportion of our media diet.
There are various methods and suggestions in the book that are very sensible. Stop reading the dirge from the media outlets that want sensational headlines and find those that have a more considered and balanced approach. Avoid the tabloids they are preaching to a base level of readers as well as trying to dictate the political agenda in a lot of cases. Read from different perspectives on the same story. Don’t forget though, we as the consumers of this actually hold the power, if we stop buying and watching the worst news channels then they will change as they will lose customers and then income. Jackson writes with a positive clarity about a subject that most people find unpalatable these days, but more than that there are things that you can do to change your media intake and make you a better-informed person.
Don’t forget to visit the other blogs on the blog tour
Buy this at your local independent bookshop. If you’re not sure where your nearest is then you can find one here
My thanks to Anne Cater from Random Thing Tours for the copy of the book to read.