Because of expected ice storm on Sunday January 9, only 8:30 worship will take place onsite.

April 8, 2021

A Pastoral Word. . .

Pastor Mark Adams

April 8, 2021
This week as I scanned my e-mail, the title of an article in The New York Times caught my eye: “Is Bad News the Only Kind?”

I’ve always thought that our news media prefers BAD news—which is why, as I said a few GC articles back, that I was drawn to John Krasinski’s “Some Good News” show that he put out back in the early days of the pandemic.

The Times article tells how Bruce Sacerdote, an economics professor at Dartmouth College, noticed something last year about the Covid-19 television coverage that he was watching on CNN and PBS. Quoting the article:
“It almost always seemed negative, regardless of what he was seeing in the data or hearing from scientists he knew. When Covid cases were rising in the U.S., the news coverage emphasized the increase. When cases were falling, the coverage instead focused on those places where cases were rising. And when vaccine research began showing positive results, the coverage downplayed it, as far as Sacerdote could tell.

But he was not sure whether his perception was correct. To check, he began working with two other researchers, building a database of Covid coverage from every major network, CNN, Fox News, Politico, The New York Times and hundreds of other sources, in the U.S. and overseas. The researchers then analyzed it with a social-science technique that classifies language as positive, neutral or negative.

The results showed that Sacerdote’s instinct had been right — and not just because the pandemic has been mostly a grim story. The coverage by U.S. publications with a national audience has been much more negative than coverage by any other source that the researchers analyzed, including scientific journals, major international publications, and regional U.S. media. 
[see chart above]

About 87 percent of Covid coverage in national U.S. media last year was negative. The share was 51 percent in international media, 53 percent in U.S. regional media and 64 percent in scientific journals. Notably, the coverage was negative in both U.S. media outlets with liberal audiences (like MSNBC) and those with conservative audiences (like Fox News).”

Why DOES our news focus on the negative and not just when it reports about the pandemic? Perhaps it is due to our fallen nature. We are naturally drawn to bad. This is one way, “All we like sheep are drawn astray.” (Isaiah 53:6)

Quoting a physician near and dear to my heart, “What's the most exciting part of a NASCAR race? ---the crash. We love to see people fall and bad news sells. Media is responding to OUR clicks---so Christians should seek out the good news, in fact, we are the main source of it. The Gospel is good news!”

Dr. Daniel is spot on. In fact, that is the literal meaning of the word “Gospel,” good news!

“Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom.” (Matthew 4:23) Our Lord has passed the task of sharing that GOOD NEWS---the BEST news the world has ever heard. As we fulfill this task, we are salt and light and joy in a dark, decaying, depressing “bad news world.”

The answer to the article’s question is “NO!” Thanks to Jesus, bad news is NOT the only kind!

I like how Paul puts it in Romans 9. He says: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring GOOD NEWS!”

Let’s get our beautiful feet a walkin’ and our mouths a sharin’ the CURE!

Keep the SON in your eyes!
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