Letter: And finally . . . the end of the world is imminent

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I WAS delighted to see your leader 'Too many bullets in the bulletins' (2 May) supporting Martyn Lewis's plea for a more balanced view of news.

It misses the point to portray people such as Martyn Lewis as mere Panglossian lightweights, wanting only to be shielded from terrible events. Certainly, it is no solution to concentrate purely on the upbeat or the anodyne. I lived for a while in South-east Asia, and often felt that if the world's end was imminent, it might have been sneaked in as item 11 on Malaysian television's evening news. (The lead story would have shown the Sultan of Pahang opening a bazaar.) That is not what is required in a healthy society.

It is important to be aware of injustice and tragedy - otherwise we can do nothing to alleviate the results. But unless we also celebrate success, examine promising developments and generally give adequate coverage to more constructive activities, we do ourselves less than justice - and, much more dangerous, may succeed in convincing ourselves that all is hopeless.

Richard Slessor

Winchcombe, Glos

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