As a unique media co-operative, Positive News is owned by both our readers and our journalists. Here, one of our reader shareholders, David Bird, explains why he chose to invest
Why does Positive News magazine appeal to you?
The narratives that we hold in our minds in order to understand the world are focused too heavily on the negative. Negative things tend to be initially very emotionally engaging – humans instinctively focus on current threats – and this distracts us from the aspects of life we could be happy about and grateful for. Most mainstream media outlets tend to point their magnifying glass at the very worst aspects of the world and sensationalise this.
Seeing so much negativity in the world reinforces a sense of powerlessness in people to change their own lives and the world around them. I have to stop myself from following the ‘normal’ news too much: it brings about despondency and confusion. For me, this can result in apathy and inertia. I think a greater focus of the kind of journalism that Positive News publishes could have a very real and tangibly positive impact on the world.
Help us change the news for good
Feeling gratitude for what we have, feeling inspired by others’ actions, focussing on possibilities as opposed to limitations: these are all much more productive states of mind, best serving both the individual and the world that we live in. Being ‘pro’ something rather than ‘anti’ something is far more motivating.
I wonder if people assume that a positive focus would lead to inaction. Perhaps they think that, if everyone felt that things were good, they wouldn’t feel the need to contribute society. From experience, I don’t agree. Positive News is not a trivial distraction or relief from everyday reality. It isn’t about denying anything. Rather, its journalism tackles issues in a solutions-focused way, energising, empowering and inspiring people.
You don’t have to be on a particular end of the political spectrum to believe that solutions-focused journalism is a good thing.
Being ‘pro’ something rather than ‘anti’ something is far more motivating
How would you like to see the media shift?
I’d like to see a more responsible media that considers the messages it puts out and the impact that these have. Positive News is changing the underlying rhetoric behind the stories we’re told, encouraging us to see our power and responsibility as a positive force for good.
Imagine a world where we’re given messages of self-belief, confidence, possibility and positivity. Imagine if people were being reminded every day that they have huge potential rather than being reminded of the risks and dangers of stepping up?
Tell us the story behind becoming a Positive News co-owner?
The company I’m a director of, Online Mortgage Advisor, had some spare cash and wanted to spend it on something that we believe could make a positive impact on the world. In a quarterly directors meeting, I suggested we helped fund Positive News.
I also felt somewhat indebted to Positive News so it was a way of repaying the favour. In the early days, the company was a start-up, scraping by with very little money to invest but lots of grit, determination and focus to follow our dreams. At that time, my homepage contained a feed of syndicated news articles. I remember noticing that I would start to read one article, go on to read another, and would lose the first hour or so in the morning. It also put me in a dispirited frame of mind at the start of the day.
Inner peace comes from inside only and all change and all progress starts out as thoughts
A contact introduced me to his homepage – www.positive.news. He is a very self-motivated person and had decided to provide himself with positive stimuli. From then on, I opened my browser first thing to read stories about people who are taking action and using their time productively to fix problems and improve things. Rather than being an unproductive distraction, reading these articles positively influenced me. It was an epiphany.
When I’ve achieved what I want to with my business, I plan to move to more philanthropic projects. And I aim to put aside 10 per cent of my disposable income into charitable or positive causes. I choose to do this, taking action every day, as an alternative to merely worrying about the state of the world.
Be informed. Be inspired.
Which quote inspires you?
My favourite amongst many quotes is the first sentence of the first verse of the Dhammapada, a collection of the Buddha’s sayings.
“All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts”.
Our minds are the most powerful instruments in the world; instrument that we are sadly not taught how to get the most out of. Inner peace comes from inside only and all change and all progress starts out as thoughts. It’s highly relevant to things like business and relationships as well.
Positive News is a co-operative owned by readers in 33 countries. To register your interest in future ‘community share offers’, visit www.ownthemedia.org