Tuesday, January 30, 2007

BREAKING away from 24/7 NEWS

Once upon a time I was a NEWS junkie.

I would surf through the Canadian & American NEWS channels in the morning while I read the local NEWSpaper and perused Google News, watch Local TV News at noon, tehn on to more North American & International TV NEWS at suppertime, and then repeat the process again in the evening....

why oh why oh why?

I kept watching even though I realised that the same stories appeared in my Newspaper, my TIME magazine, my Wife's Celebrity Mags, Local TV reports, National TV reports and International TV reports...
a swirling vortex of Infotainment rehashing the same stories over and over and over.

The cumulative effect of trying to retain all of the nominally useful information was stress and anxiety.. because

BAD NEWS is the best kind of NEWS
in the NEWS Business.

If you are inundated with terrible NEWS from all over the world you cannot help but feel overwhelmed.

These days the line between Entertainment and NEWS has been erased.

I believe that this has happened because humans are simply physiologically incapable of handling that much negative information, even if it is Infotainment. It is much easier to digest the trivial details of Celebrity's frivolous activities.

These days the NEWS is made more palatable by having more photogenic announcers.

America has gone from Cronkite to Couric.

Katie makes more money in one year than Walter probably made in his lifetime. why..because she is as big of a 'item' as the actual NEWS.

Here in Canada we prefer our NEWS 'missionary style' but nevertheless we will soon witness Ian (Handsomemanthing) Hanomansing replace Peter (Everyman) Mansbridge.

As a child I watched footage of the War in Viet Nam on TV every night and it just seemed to be scenes from a Movie...forty years later I worry that I am so desensitized that the horrific images on TV lose much of their impact.

Even 9/11 footage is slowly entering that realm due to the hundreds of occasions that I have been exposed to those images.

Natural Disasters such as the terrible images of a Tsunamic wave bursting over a Tropical resort is also losing its impact..and I am troubled that this particular disaster received such overwhelming response because of the fact that so many of the victims were vacationing Europeans and Americans..

unfortunately this item would not have been such a BIG story if only local inhabitants were killed...

otherwise it would have been another "over there" story and there is something seriously wrong with that.

Let's face it, NEWS is competing for your eyeballs and advertising dollars the same as all of the other crap on TV.

I still try to stay selectively informed but now I prefer my NEWS 'old school' like Detective Joe Friday on Dragnet,
"Just the facts please Ma'am."

How do you deal with 24/7 NEWS.


  1. I turned off the mainstream media the day after 9/11 and haven't gone back. I agree with everything you said. If anyone wants to know what's really going on in the world they have to go out and look for it themselves. Sadly, nearly no one does - they just take the crap dealt to them on television as reality and ask no questions.

    And that's really scary.

    I tried seven times yesterday to post on the last post... and gave up. gloogger rox!

  2. I turned off the mainstream media the day after 9/11 and haven't gone back.


    I had the misfortune of working for a large bookstore chain and I became further exposed against my will to the print media as well.

    Since then, I've only watched the evening news when I was featured on it, which was ONCE. I have not bought a newspaper since roughly 1994, and only receive them when they're handed out.

    In airports they blast people with Faux News and I was subjected to Glenn a**hole Beck the one and only time.

    I see the media as a whole as something to which I am subjected to. It's oppressive and disgusting.

  3. I can't seem to escape the news... I just take it all with a grain of salt. I tend to get my news from the Daily Show or the Colbert Report anyway.

    I found these folks over at FireDogLake who are blogging the Scooter Libby trial. You won't find that on any 24/7 news outlet.

  4. I prefer to get my news from Earl Camembert and Floyd Robertson.

  5. My beef is A Current affairs programs, easy targets, victims and villians, scary music and voice overs. Created to produce an emotional responce...

    The news was a major factor behind going TV free...All these news casters trying to be my friend and stupid jokes about ties.

    Although of late the cricket has been sneaking into the house. only reason i still keep the thing.

    If only they could produce live cricket in a novel form...


  6. NPR, BBC World News (via NHPR), and The Daily Show. I suppose I should also listen to Al Jazeera if I wanted to be "Fair and Balanced"®

  7. ms. val4:53 p.m.

    Infotainment. I love that word. But I must admit, around here, I just put the news on for background noise. Basically, I hear it, but I don't really watch it. I wouldn't recognize Britney Spears if we were standing in the same line at Starbucks.

  8. I rarely watch the news. I'm not so sure that's such a smart move. I'd like to know about what's going on, but I just can't handle the news on a regular basis. My husband, on the other hand, watches the news three to four times a day. Maybe that explains why I still cry when I see something horrific on the news (like 9/11 or the tsunami a couple of years ago) and he seems unmoved by it.

  9. aack....darn new blogger accounts...so i lost all those wonderful words that i put to computer earlier and now i'm just frustrated with the fast paced world of computer use and lost all trains of thought. Oh now i remember, i hate watching the news....but i said it more eloquently in last report. O h well don't watch much because the death of a bomber on the other side of the world does not have a direct impact on me and because i have a hard enough time dealing with my little world its pretty hard to continue to watch depressing news about things that i have no control over or that do not have a direct impact on my little circle.

  10. I don't know how people can't watch the news...but just filter out the crap the networks fill it up with.

    CNN's "Situation Room." With Wolf Blitzkrieg! Ha! Like the White House! Let's trump this up, baby!

    If we call it the "Situation Room," then anything we define as a "situation" will be watched by millions around the world!

    It's so much B.S. and political spin half the time. All they show is the obligatory "political commentators, one from the Republicans, one from the Democrats....zzzzzzzzzz.....

    Oh, sorry! It's all packaged, canned news, except at some point, they do actually have to give you the facts. That's what you've got to look for.

    Better yet, tune into PBS. It's the only news that is news, that isn't filtered through someone's morality gauge.

    Or tune in the BBC if you can. That's good too.

  11. Totally agree. It always frustrates me though when Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake's breakup is given the same billing as the killing of dozens Iraqi civilians and coalition troops.

    However, even worse in my opinion, is that it is often a difficult task to even get "just the facts" with confidence that they are the true facts.

  12. No News is good News :)


  13. I don't mind the news as long as it's given straight with none of the drama that marks local news where I live.

    I hate, hate, hate the way the local newscasters speak. Give me CNN anyday.

  14. I am subjected to Faux news whenever I go to my dad's. My brother is a flaming Republican (but I still love him) and thinks that CNN is too liberal. It's on 24/7 unless there's a game or war movie on.

    I can't imagine a more biased news source. It irritates me to watch it for more than a few minutes.

  15. I actually used to watch a ton of news. I remember on 9/11 I watched non-stop for probably a week.

    But it just doesn't do it for me anymore. I can watch news for an hour and I don't feel like I'm anymore informed than I was before.

    CNN used to be a resepctable name in news, but now look at it. The fall of CNN is really the way a lot of news media have fallen over the past few years.

    Ever since Dubya started taking liberties after 9/11 I think a lot of people have lost faith in the news. I know I have.

    I still like BBC Newsworld. Outside of them, there isn't much.

  16. I've really switched off from the media as a whole. We don't watch TV (except for the cricket), we don't buy newspapers, we don't have a radio. I might sometimes glance at the main page of The Age's website, or see something over the shoulder of someone on the train. But the truth is, unless I specifically interest myself in something, I really don't know what's going on. I prefer it that way. Less depressing!

  17. You are spot on! It's not enough that the news is informative, now it has to be entertaining as well.

  18. Thank You all so much for your comments...
    I am having technical difficulties...
    hoping to get this little bit to work...
    my lengthy reply has vanished...
    *crosses fingers..

  19. My word verification is 'tvdink'. Seems rather appropriate.

    I watch TVO and PBS. The rest is crap.

  20. I wouldn't mind 24/7 news if they actually reported NEWS. As in, things that are NEW. And matter. Mostly all they do is repeat themselves ad infinitum while slowly ramping up the sensationalism every time they repeat in an attempt to keep it interesting. The result is a bunch of celebrity gossip that didn't matter to begin with and ends up a "big fish" story.

    Once, I ACTUALLY saw on CNN Headline News a piece on the release of "The Facts of Life" DVD boxed set, including interviews with the all-grown-up cast members. That was the day I got rid of my television entirely.

    There's more than enough going on in the world to justify 24/7 news, but they never show it!!! What's going on in Africa? South America? The Pacific rim? Russia? Who knows! Stupid networks.

  21. This is very interesting..all of you very informed, intelligent people eschew network news and some of you actually punted your TVs!
    I am very impressed.

    Perhaps this is how and why you avoid believing all of the subliminal 'messages' weaseled in between the 60 frames/sec that flash during Newscasts and therefore manage to Think for yourself!

  22. Hey! I'm in this time!

    Down Under, it's probably as grindingly stupid as "Up Over" We watch SBS early evening(gives us "potted" world current events) or ABC if we need good local coverage. The local commercial channels? Pwlchfgwbleah!
    The tissues are also failing. ABC radio is my best bet.

    dinahmow (in case I've been anonymised again!)

  23. I also gave up watching the news and the majority of television after 9/11.

    I watch documentaries because they're realistic and I get a better understanding of what's going on around the world, first hand.


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