Reasons to Be Cheerful (Ep. 417)

Today on Freakonomics Radio: why we’re so prone to the negativity bias; how it affects our decisions; and how to escape — even harness — it to rise above the fray.

At some point, maybe the B.B.C. and other news sites will find a way to tone down the high-bad environment they help create. In the meantime, there are other sites that choose to simply focus on good news. Or, if not good news per se, journalism that’s more solution-based than problem-based; it’s sometimes called “constructive journalism.” To be honest, this is something we try to do pretty routinely with Freakonomics Radio. But the fact is, constructive journalism tends to be a pretty hard sell, at least commercially. The reason so many media outlets still focus so much on bad news is that most consumers continue to consume it. So if you want to try something different, it might help to have a patron: someone with a reach, and at least a little bit of cash. Someone like this guy:

BYRNE: Okay. My name is David Byrne.

Listen to the full interview on Freakonomics Radio