Have a good look at the picture above. If you click on it, you should get a larger version.
The sign it depicts was erected on the wall of the Daily Mail offices in London yesterday by an organisation calling itself Crowdwish (@crowdwish – “The most popular wish of the day actioned. Today, tomorrow and forever.”) and the tweet accompanying this picture stated: “For one – very satisfying – hour the sign below adorned The Daily Mail offices this afternoon.”
The blogpost accompanying the picture explained that it was in response to a wish that the media would focus more on the good things that happen in the world.
“The fact is that bad news sells; negative events cause spikes in TV ratings, sales of papers to rise and increases in traffic online,” the article continued – and this is fair comment; Vox Political‘s own highest reader figures have been generated by disasters like the passing of the Gagging Law.
The article explained: “Man’s (and women’s) most primeval survival skill is to stay out of harms way; to be alert to threats or danger, and our brains are therefore hardwired to be highly responsive to negative stimuli. Bad is stronger than good because bad is inherently more threatening.
“As a result the media cater very directly to that powerful physiological reaction, giving us more of that which we fixate on and respond to, resulting in a slant towards negative news.”
The article went on to quote a specific example: “a very comprehensive list of all things that the Daily Mail have claimed ‘may’ cause cancer. The list includes water, soup, wearing flip flops and switching on the bathroom light at night.
“It’s more hilarious than offensive but led us to want to have a cheap laugh at the Mail’s expense this afternoon, it being Friday and all.
“So we made a faux-marble sign that we thought displayed a more accurate depiction of the Mail’s true editorial values, and sent someone – dressed as a workman in hard had and Hi Vis vest – to fix it to the side of their building in Kensington.
“Amazingly, it was a full hour before somebody noticed and removed it.
“Yes, we know the Daily Mail is an obvious target, and no, we don’t think it was very grown-up.”
It must have felt good, though.
Anyone wishing to keep an eye on Crowdwish’s future activities – or who wants to make a request – can do so via the address above.
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