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Celebrate goodwill and fight hate with KT's Positive News

Vicky Kapur (From the Executive Editor's Desk)
Filed on January 5, 2020 | Last updated on January 5, 2020 at 06.57 am

Cheerful, motivational, optimistic stories can have a direct impact on the happiness levels of the audience and, therefore, of a nation.

It's just Day 5 of 2020 and the world is in a state of kinetic chaos. Phrases like 'dangerous escalation' and 'severe revenge' have already made it to the front pages of international newspapers. 'Trump Warns Iran as Ayatollah Vows Revenge' read the lead headline of yesterday's The New York Times. 'Head Off The Snake' screamed the front page of the tabloid New York Post. 'Mideast Tensions Rise After Strike' said WSJ. 'Threats, deployments after U.S. strike' noted The Washington Post. 'Iran vows "severe revenge" on the US' said The Guardian while 'Britain Braced for Iran Revenge' was the Daily Mail's lead header.

None of the geopolitical flashpoints of 2019 and earlier has been decisively doused yet while new, simmering hotspots are threatening to add to the commotion.

Australia, one of the first countries to welcome the new year, is dealing with some of the worst bushfires the country has faced in decades. Even as North Korean Santa Kim Jong-un chose to, thankfully, not deliver his ominous Christmas gift, the threat of a nuke-powered rogue nation is like, pardon the pun, a ticking time bomb.

Tensions in the East China Sea, as well as the South China Sea, remain stubbornly critical. Hong Kong protests have continued unabated into the new year.

The worsening state of regional security in the Middle East and North Africa - the audacity of Iran, the collusion of factions in Iraq, the war in Yemen, the Syrian war zone, the political instability in Lebanon, the Libyan civil war and the Turkish interference, the continuing threat of Brotherhood in Egypt, and the decades-long Palestinian-Israeli conflict - is a narrative that hijacks the news agenda on a daily basis. The status of Myanmar's Rohingya refugees, the testy relationship between nuclear-neighbours India and Pakistan, the anti-policy protests in India, and the grave threat that militancy poses to governments and citizens of Afghanistan and Pakistan are among some of the other issues that bear testimony to a world in turmoil.

Then there's the civil war in South Sudan, the Al Shabaab threat in Somalia and Kenya, Boko Haram in Nigeria, sectarian violence in Central African Republic, political instability in Congo, and the growing militancy in Mali. And if that wasn't enough, there are quakes, volcanoes, and other natural disasters, road accidents, plane crashes and other mishaps besides theft, rape, bomb blasts, gunfights and other human-induced sufferings. All this, and we haven't even skimmed the surface of universal issues like the climate change crisis that threatens humanity, the scourge of plastic and other pollutants contaminating our air, lands and oceans, the flagrant income inequality in nations both poor and rich, the lack of education among the underprivileged, our inability to find a cure for cancer, the growing menace of lifestyle diseases, the lack of clean drinking water, food insecurity, unemployment, corruption, poverty... the list seems endless.

It is no surprise, therefore, that newspapers and media, in general, are bursting at the seams with what can only be termed as bad news. A newspaper is but a reflection of the world we live in. Having said that, is there only negativity and adversity, aggression and enmity, hostility and hatred in the world we live in?

Certainly not, or it would have stopped being liveable long ago. There is enough positivity and so many pleasant stories going around - a cabbie returning a wallet or a bag full of cash that someone forgot in his car, the world's busiest airport for international visitors announcing a ban on single-use plastic, the community getting together to pay off the debt of a critically ill expat so she can go home, the infectiously positive demeanour of the dancing road-cleaner. this list, too, can be never-ending.

The problem is that media has, traditionally, focused on bad news because of its shock-and-awe value. In the long run, though, one can never underestimate the power of positivity. Cheerful, motivational, optimistic stories can have a direct impact on the happiness levels of the audience and, therefore, of a nation. Caught in chaos and cacophony, newsrooms across the world must consciously focus on and highlight positive news while expending more energy and resources to counter misinformation, fake news and plain lies.

At Khaleej Times, we've made humble beginnings this year with 'Positive News of the Day' bringing you feel-good, heart-warming and inspirational stories from across the UAE and around the world to help you start the day on a positive note.

We're encouraged by your response over its initial few days, and seek your continued patronage while we endeavour to provide a corrective measure, a remedy, an antidote to the battery of bad news coming at us from a range of sources. We encourage you to look for that +News tag on our front page and inside to start your day with an anxiety-free dose of positivity.


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