There are only a few ways to determine how newsworthy a story is and on the very bottom of the totem pole is the positive human interest story. Instead, the news has lived by the “if it bleeds it leads” adage.
According to a recent TIME report, social media may be driving a shift toward feel good news taking center stage. “Bloggers have traditionally turned to sarcasm and snark to draw attention. But the success of sites like BuzzFeed and Upworthy, whose philosophies embrace the viral nature of upbeat stories, hints that the Web craves positivity.”
In contrast to the studies linking linking social media to reduced life satisfaction, the article also attributes our desire to project a positive self image to the shift and sharing more upbeat stories. People aren’t just managing their own reputations, they’re searching for and sharing positive stories as well, according to the article.
Writes the author: “If social is the future of media, then optimistic stories might be media’s future.”
Indeed, social media has been wagging the media dog for some time now with news outlets mining social media for potential leads. When it comes to the internet, content creators are looking for stories that readers want to share.
Perhaps readers have bad news fatigue and we’re just looking for stories that make us feel like the world is not a horrible place.