LETTERS : It's no wonder we feel bad

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HOW LIKE the media to ignore the baleful influence they exert on public attitudes ("The feel-bad factor", 18 December). People's attitudes are influenced partly by personal experience and partly by information and opinions conveyed to them. The la tter are largely provided by the media, which increasingly vie to present the most sensational and alarmist items, regardless of genuine news value. Typical of the trend is the progressive deterioration of Radio 4's once balanced Today programme, which i s nowlittle more than a catalogue of negative reports and complaints by the disaffected, interspersed by crass interviews designed, apparently, to undermine any possible respect for authority. It does not take much imagination to appreciate that this is scarcely a recipe for improved national morale.

I J G Berry Enfield, Middlesex