My first career was in broadcast news, where I served a creative services producer.
My core task to was help present and promote the news to be as compelling as possible. I was responsible to “make” as many people as I could feel like they must watch the news. So I’m well aware of the ins and outs of working in a newsroom day to day.
In this time of concern and fear about infectious diseases, it’s important to know that one of the motivations of news organizations is to get you to watch and interact with as much of their content as possible.
Fear is a great motivator.
One time I was working in the newsroom and a national tragedy occurred in another part of the country. We had a young ambitious reporter (aren’t they all!) who had just joined our team and she was perhaps with a bit naive. Watching the tragedy unfold on our satellite feeds, she remarked out loud, “Why couldn’t this have happened here! Then I would be ‘live national’ right now.”
I remember being disgusted by her comments but that is quite often the tone that is felt around newsrooms when big national stories break. The pressure is to localize the story as much as possible, in order to draw in a larger audience to our newscast.
So how should people of God’s Story respond to the current concerns about infectious diseases? We too should continue to be reporters in the field of a good news that is for all people.
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. [John 16:33]
Jesus had lots of experience being around people who were exceptionally contagious and he loved them, ministered to them directly (often taking them by the hand) and gave them hope and peace.
So instead of echoing the voices of fear that are calling to us in high-defination, we want to stand confident in the promises of Christ and the assurance of our salvation that comes to from He who sits on the highest throne. With so many threats and tragedies in our world today, our voices of hope are needed in our schools, offices and neighborhoods.