Is the newspaper " a depressive"?

Dateline: Tue 24 Feb 2009

Years ago, a good friend, very active in the community, told me why she no longer read the newspaper: it was always doom and gloom. "The paper never tells positive stories, or if it does, it does not do enough..." said my friend, who was successfully and motivated.

I heard the same argument Sunday at an open house in Butler Tarkington from a well-connected real estate agent.

"We have the Indianapolis Star, and it is not getting the story out...every day, the news is bad news," he said.

The good news -- and he is right -- is the $7,200 (or so) credit going to first-time home buyers under the stimulus package and the exceedingly low -- 4 perdent or so -- mortgage rates being offered by lenders.

Houses are sitting on the market, in part, because most people are not aware of these advantages, he said.

A friend pointed out there are other factors: many of us, fearful of losing our jobs, are holding off. But as the agent said, perception is reality. And the Star tends to be a depressive....

This cuts to the heart of the old debates about what constitutes news. Human nature gravitates more to dog-bite stories than accounts of all the dogs that enjoyed being petted....still, there's merit to the argument that fairness requires both sides of a story to be told, when possible. And this agent argues that the upside of the housing market story is not getting any ink.

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