A Romanian law that required at least half of all news broadcasts to be comprised of “good news” has been struck down by that country’s constitutional court.
Whether that is good news or bad news depends on who you ask.
It was bad news to the pro-good-news legislators, who had argued that bad news should be restricted because it can have an “irreversible effect” on people’s lives (not unlike the bad events themselves, oddly enough). They had hoped to “improve the general climate and … offer to the public the chance to have balanced perceptions on daily life, mentally and emotionally,” apparently by helping the public to ignore things inconsistent with those perceptions.
But it was good news to members of the country’s National Audiovisual Council, who had been given the job of distinguishing between “positive” and “negative” news so that the new law could be enforced. To their credit, the council members wanted no part of that. “News is news,” said the council’s chairman. “It is neither positive nor negative. It simply reflects reality.” Yes, it always does that.
The opposition party filed the challenge to the law, something that did not seem to square with reports saying the law had passed “unanimously.” I assume nobody wanted to be seen actually voting against good news.