News bearing vs. Talebearing

After breaking some news the other day, it suddenly dawned on me that there can sometimes be a fine line between news bearing and talebearing.

News bearing is simply the art or act (if you like) of delivering information – be it good or bad – to another person. Talebearing on the other hand, is the spreading of gossip, secrets, etc., that may cause trouble or harm. Thus while news bearing can be regarded as reporting without any malicious intent, talebearing is reporting with malicious intent. Indeed, talebearing may involve garnishing the truth in varying degrees which may even involve an outright lie.

Some people seem to derive an almost perverse pleasure from being the first to transmit bad news; and they seem to perform the act on a regular basis. Such people, in my view, are no different from talebearers.

As I sign out, I urge us (and that includes me!) to examine ourselves to determine whether we are actually news bearers or mere talebearers; and retrace our steps if we fall into the latter category!