Welcome to my stop on the You Are What You Read blog tour! When I read the blurb of this book it really struck a chord with me as, for the first time in my life, I have had to make a conscious decision to watch / consume less news…
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 know that feeling when a book lands in your lap at the exactly the right time and causes a lightbulb moment? Well, that’s what happened to me reading this! I was finding that the constant stream of negativity and mainly Trump/Brexit rhetoric was all I ever saw on the news and it was getting too much; there was just nothing positive to be taken from Trump’s latest batshit quote or the groundhog day style Brexit coverage of this country’s impending doom. Scarily, ‘The news is one of the most powerful and most negative streams of information we inescapably consume.’ Not only did You Are What You Read explain to me why I’m feeling this way towards the news, it threw up so many thought provoking points; from how objective is news really, ‘Does the media create or reflect opinion?’ to how much do we actually trust the news stories we do read, to the detrimental mental health consequences of reading negative news all the time.
Importantly – Jodie also explains what we can do to curate our own intake of news so that it’s not all gloom and Brexit; she is a huge advocate of solutions journalism and ‘refuse(s) to accept that negative news is the only narrative worth telling.’ Solutions journalism ‘typically includes reports on innovation, initiative, peace-building progress and positive responses to social problems.’ Basically, it shows us that as a balance to all the negativity in the world, positive things are happening too and we should also hear about those when we switch on the news. YES. 100% YES, I would give anything to actually watch a balanced news show. Jodie suggests places to read solutions journalism and I’ve changed up my media diet already; I don’t want to be ignorant of what’s happening in the world, or kid myself there are no problems that need to be exposed and reported on, but sometimes I want to hear about the great things happening too!
You Are What You Read has great facts, figures and psychological research, but what really sells the ideas this book has is the fact they are clearly written from the heart; you can feel the author’s passion for her topic as you read, and this makes it even more powerful. If you’ve ever turned on the news and just felt overwhelmed by the onslaught of negativity, then this brilliant book is for you; it shows you that you can consume a more balanced news diet and (just maybe) let the news organisations know we don’t only want to read about the bad things. And I’m fully on board with this!
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, 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.
Follow the Tour:
/ Published by Unbound 2019
/ 154 pages
/ Rating: 5/5