A Christmas wish: will 2016 be a year of good news?

22 December 2015, Blog

It has been a year of unexpected, upsetting news from the Paris attacks, to the Becky Watts case to the Germanwings plane crash.

So, we ask ourselves, will 2016 be a year of good news?

Whilst bad news has come in large doses this year, we hope that the good will be in the limelight in 2016. As communications professionals it is our job more than ever before to explain things and tell it right, in hope that we can bring out the good in the world.

Some publications have tasked themselves with good news campaigns. The Telegraph for example run weekly good news round-ups. The Good News Friday column is headed by Online Education Editor, Josie Gurney-Read and involves positive stories from UK schools.

Many people say that they prefer to hear about good news: but is that actually true? A study constructed by psychologist Tom Stafford suggests that readers look for stories with a negative tone. This is described as a “negativity bias” for a collective hunger to hear and remember bad news. Looking at some of the headlines throughout 2015, it would suggest that this was the case.

This presents a challenge for comms professionals in 2016. By unlearning the perception that a dramatic, depressing or gory headline makes the news, we can sidestep this process and introduce a new wave of good news to the public.

With the power of social media spreading like wildfire, good news can travel faster. Video tools like Vine and Instagram offer an opportunity to roll out positive social media campaigns that easily tap into human interest and empathy.

So, what’s coming up in 2016?

For the sport fanatic we have the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics, and four nations from the British Isles competing in the European football championships. For the dog lover, the microchipping of all canines in England. And for the envirochild, the agreement of COP21 which unites exciting government plans for climate change.

So, there is much to be hopeful and happy about but it’s up to the communications industry to really make the mark.

By Caragh Jones, Account Manager

JBP Staff Member

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