It's all about "happy things" and NO NO to negative news says 16 YO.
Turn on the TV today and you will be served all the negativity you want for the day. Every morning before I set to work, I remember tuning in to the morning news when reports of murder, rape, kidnap, irresponsible leaders, tricksters and abusers were readily served on my breakfast table. By the time I set my foot out of the house, I'm already loaded with fear of being hit by a heavy vehicle, bundled with scepticism about my colleague, and numerous such fears cloud me until I reach home. This is not the case just with me but with every other of you who sip the juices of news every day. I will not rule out the fact that there's an air of negative news around us but falling into the loop of it, we are actually forgetting that there's more empathy, positivity, laughter, success, pride, happiness around us. But where? Where can we get to know that there's still positivity in the world? What is the source of some positive reportings? The answer is often a question! This is where Mehr Sohal appeared with an answer. Disturbed by negativity, she wanted to present to people that there's this world around us that's filled with the goodness of life. Just 16 years old and hats off to her attempt to show the positive side of the world to the world dumped into the shadows. Bengaluru-based Mehr is the icon of our page today.
Mehr's Experience and Observations:
16-year-old Mehr Sohal from Bengaluru is a student of Neev Academy. The habit of reading a newspaper and watching TV brought her face to face with many complex happenings around her. These news reports had a lot of influence on her that she often formed opinions on people, situations etc. when she watched the news or read them as most of the news revolved around negativity. "Whenever one opens a newspaper or some form of digital/print media, the pages are flooded with horrifying stories and articles.” She understood that issues in news are becoming the cause of stress in people across the globe. "This is specifically for Generation Z, with 75 per cent of this community stressed over mass shootings, 62 per cent concerned about suicide rates, and more (according to a 2018 APA Survey),” she adds. Mehr's realization that the world is not as unpleasant as it is shown by media. She also felt the need of some positivity in the context of the pandemic. As academic Hans Rosling stated, ‘Our instinct to notice the bad more than the good is related to three things: misremembering of the past; selective reporting by journalists and activists; and the feeling that as long as things are bad, it’s heartless to say they are getting better’.- These words also left a great impact on Mehr.
"The media often exploits our weakness of loving drama, gossip, and rumours.,” she adds. While negativity is unavoidable, Mehr feels that positive news spreads some goodness and helps us feel better about the world. Mainly the young generations will know that the world is not a stubborn place to stay. She herself wanted to do something about it. The result of her brainstorming is a news portal that presents the goodness of the world, The Joyful Peach.
Joy and Happiness:
Mehr was a part of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy. It is where she developed the idea of starting a news portal and launched "The Joyful Peach" aiming it to focus entirely on the "happy events" around us. The media literacy course she attended in the school, an article by Hans Rosling titled ‘Good news at last: the world isn’t as horrific as you think’, and the COVID-19 pandemic - these are the three driving factors that made Mehr turn her idea into reality. These three aspects showed her the power of media and how responsible their job is in delivering the truth.
"I decided to ‘keep it real’ with The Joyful Peach and give the community their much-needed daily dose of truthful, positive news", she explains. With an aim to serve happiness, the portal goes beyond just news and reporting. The main focus of the portal lies in empowering the youth and delivers free content accessible to everyone. With the news portal currently divided into four categories viz. Peachisms (a section with Thoughts, epiphanies, and opinions), Peachy news that comprises of stories, anecdotes and experiences- drawn from the community, and Artsy Corner wherein creative works like poetry, art etc are published and finally the COVID Plus section highlights the positive happenings amidst the pandemic. Freely accessible content with the required dose of positivity is drawing everyone's love.
To Take It Further:
Mehr is in plans to develop her existing website and is thus reviewing a good revenue model. She is marketing her platform on social media, eyeing upon SEO to generate good traffic. “I aim to generate revenue through advertisements.", she says. She is also planning to write ‘paid’ stories for corporates promoting their good work and presenting the positive social impact their products are creating. Currently, the portal has 75 articles featured and the founder is on her way to increase the readership and impact of "The Joyful Peach". “I launched this platform in early 2020 and am looking to increase the number of readers, improve the quantity and quality of content, and start approaching corporates for advertisements and paid articles on them. The pandemic has created a ‘new normal’ where there is a huge need for this dose of positivity,” Mehr says.
Kudos to the young girl who is working towards instilling the waves of positivity in the world especially among Gen Z. While most of the people her age are immersed into activities of little value, Mehr's thought was driven with a social impact making her stand apart from the rest.
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