This morning I reached for my radio's off button when I heard the beginning of a news story on ABC NewsRadio. It was that Queensland scientists have confirmed that this year's mass coral bleaching event has resulted in the largest die-off of corals ever recorded on the Great Barrier Reef.
Of course I'm not alone in wanting to know only good news. It's human. There would be something wrong with me if I had a taste for bad news.
Different people react to particular news stories in their own way. For me, it's specifically the destruction or decay of cultural or natural heritage, the harming of cultural minorities such as the genocide of the Yazidis, and particularly egregious stories of the exercise of policy cruelty to asylum seekers to drive home a political point. I get emotionally distressed.
I was first conscious of my feelings about the news in 2001, when the Bamiyan Buddhas were blown up and destroyed by the Taliban in Afghanistan. I was upset and found myself resenting that there was so much coverage of this event on the BBC World News TV channel. I wished they would give content warnings before broadcasting stories on the Bamiyan Buddhas. I was resentful that they didn't, almost as if they were playing with my emotions.
My avoidance of bad news includes events that will impact on what upsets me, such as the coverage of election counts. On Wednesday 9 November, I found myself feeling very grateful that my attention from US election counting news coverage was diverted by an appointment I had that afternoon, for nearly 90 minutes.
That was the most decisive and painful part of the coverage. When I switched off my smartphone, everything was going as expected for a HIllary Clinton victory. But when I turned my phone on after the appointment, my eyes fixed in disbelief on what was by that stage the hopeful headline in the New York Times app that Hillary still had a narrow path to victory.
So much had happened in 90 minutes, so much that would have been very painful for me to follow blow by blow. It was as if I'd been having surgery and been under general anaesthetic for the duration of the turning point in the vote counting. I was certainly disappointed and distressed at the now almost certain result. But in a way that was quite bizarre, the feeling of desolation was almost eclipsed by the consolation of being spared the slow drawn out pain of learning that Clinton had fallen short.
It's tempting to digress into thoughts about Trump and all the post-truth politics we've been exposed to this year. But my point about how we feel about what we hear in the news is in some ways more important though related. It reflects my own myopia and my own post-truth world. It's not reality but it's something to be acknowledged rather than dismissed. Because feelings about anything, including the news, are real.