News isn’t about making you feel better

Ruby Lott-Lavigna in Vice:

Journalism is not supposed to be a fluffy PR machine for the government (unless you’re working in North Korea, or, I don’t know, the Sunday Telegraph news desk), ready to boost your mood on a less than jolly day with an uplifting story of a dog who saved a duck from traffic, or a picture of a waving seal. It is a tool to interrogate power structures and inequality, serve the public interest and, occasionally, provide readers with something funny to read. Unfortunately, spiralling death tolls, falling stock markets and government failures – as depressing as it might be – are news, and need to be reported on.

…the media has never existed to provide a soothing mood-booster or cheerlead the government. Now is exactly the time we need challenging, difficult questions asked, even if they’re hard to hear. The waving seals can wait.



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