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We are checking bad news every day. Should we constantly be informed about all that _______ ?

I need an idiom or expression for a context like the above.

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    One idiom for constantly negative news is 'doom and gloom'. May 29 at 15:41
  • 2
    A recent widely-used phrase for any news that one doesn't like is fake news. May 29 at 15:58
  • @KateBunting This is very relative and can be offered in an answer. Although Merriam Webster says ‘gloom and doom’.
    – Sasan
    May 29 at 16:12
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    @JohnLawler aren't "fake news" and "bad news" different? "Covid cured!" is fake news but not "doom and gloom".
    – Greybeard
    May 29 at 19:11
  • 1
    If you're talking about online news sources, the latest idiom is doomscrolling May 30 at 1:16

4 Answers 4

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You can use the term negativity:

an attitude that is not hopeful or enthusiastic
There's too much negativity in the world today.

(From the Cambridge Dictionary)

He was taken aback by the negativity of the press.

The blanket of media negativity, he says, still raises the hackles.

(Examples from Lexico)

If you're looking for a phrase, then, as suggested by Kate Bunting, there's gloom and doom:

gloom and doom
noun

: sad and tragic events : a feeling or attitude that things are only getting worse
The papers are filled with stories of gloom and doom.
She was full of gloom and doom.

(From Merriam Webster)

It can also be written as doom and gloom.


We are checking bad news every day. Should we constantly be informed about all that negativity?

We are checking bad news every day. Should we constantly be informed about all that gloom and doom?

We are checking bad news every day. Should we constantly be informed about all that doom and gloom?

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"Bleeds"

This is specific to your example, and will not generalize. There, however, it is the exact match. It references an idiom describing (many) current news sources:

"If it bleeds, it leads."[*]

Essentially, this references an opinion that many media sources are selling fear. They are creating uncertainty and dread, and that uncertainty drives you back to that source for reassurance. This is not a new or fringe opinion; indeed you can trivially find many explanations tracing it back to Hearst and the Spanish-American War, as well as attestations to the phrase's regular use in newsrooms from the 70's on.

See e.g. the explanation here:

The success of fear-based news relies on presenting dramatic anecdotes in place of scientific evidence, promoting isolated events as trends, depicting categories of people as dangerous and replacing optimism with fatalistic thinking.

So when you say, "We are checking bad news every day. Should we constantly be informed about all that bleeds?" you are deliberately referencing this view of the media. This appears to align well with the point you're trying to make, so you should use the reference.


[*] Or sometimes "ledes". The lede is the hook which makes you want to read the story. Good practice puts it at the beginning, which gives us another idiom "burying the lede."

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In recent Covid-19 times, 2 new and related terms have been coined:

Doomscrolling and Doomsurfing

These are specific to online news where one might continue to surf the web or scroll through news sites on your phone.

Mirriam-Webster has this to say on the terms

Doomscrolling and doomsurfing are new terms referring to the tendency to continue to surf or scroll through bad news, even though that news is saddening, disheartening, or depressing. Many people are finding themselves reading continuously bad news about COVID-19 without the ability to stop or step back.

Doomscrolling seems to be used more often than doomsurfing, at least in the UK.

From an article in The Guardian:

What I’ve been doing is called doomscrolling, a term that has caught on during this year’s pandemic. For those who still dwell mostly offline, doomscrolling (and, less commonly, doomsurfing) is “the tendency to continue to surf or scroll through bad news, even though that news is saddening, disheartening, or depressing”.

There’s a compulsiveness to doomscrolling. We are looking for something, even though we are not sure exactly what it is (reassurance? Truth? Validation? Answers? A vaccine?). Some of us are, perhaps, in fight-or-flight mode, and the constant scrolling is a kind of hypervigilance.

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Hate-mongering

Try the term my grandmother often used. It conveniently applies directly to speech and writing, which matches the news aspect of your Question.

hate-mongering (Oxford Lexico)

The arousal of feelings of hatred using speech or writing

By relation, the person who does the hate-mongering...

hatemonger (Cambridge)

someone who tries to encourage people to hate other people or groups

It certainly stands to reason that you could view the news reporters in your example as hatemongers.

Used in your example:

If you choose this word, I would tweak the wording of your example sentence from about to by. Both could work, but this flows better...

We are checking bad news every day. Should we constantly be informed by all that hate-mongering?

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    But bad news might be just sad or upsetting, without arousing hate toward anybody or anything.
    – Sasan
    May 29 at 16:07
  • @Sasan True. But, the person wanting to use this term might view the news by the effect it has. May 29 at 16:11

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