This one is an interesting one for me actually because I stopped reading, watching or listening to the news a few weeks ago now, so I have pretty much no idea what’s going on at the moment.
Why would you stop watching the news? I hear you ask. The answer is simple: News is bad for you.
I read the above article and immediately decided to try it out. I was already becoming more and more disillusioned with what I thought was the very trustworthy BBC News, and being a huge Charlie Brooker fan I watched his show Screenwipe with an ever growing sense of dismay. As such I was probably much more amenable to the prospect of cutting myself off completely than perhaps the next person.
With the exception of a few things mentioned on Twitter here and there I’ve been doing a pretty good job of avoiding the news and I can’t say I miss it one bit so far. Pretty much everything else I would say about the subject is in the article, so if you haven’t already, do read it. It’s food for thought if nothing else.
The main thing I would like people to take away from this is to at least question the sources of their news. Is there an agenda? Can you imagine the story from an alternative view? How relevant is the story or the way it’s being reported?
This is the big one for me: How many facts have they actually provided, rather than simply using subjective, manipulative language? If you’re a real news junkie, test yourself by listing the stories and most importantly the associated facts after an hour’s viewing. I’ll be willing to bet that after an hour you’ve actually got very little genuine information to show for it. I remember a couple of friends of mine telling me how they had spent hours watching CNN coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing, yet they were able to tell me almost nothing about it when asked. Instead it’s all about the emotional shock value.
For example take the following headline: I Cheated Death in 40ft Terror Plunge
How much of that is truly factual, and how much of it is manipulative? Now I’m not saying it should necessarily be ‘Woman survives fall’ (despite that being 100% accurate), but where exactly does the word ‘Terror’ come into the equation?
Like they say, never let the facts get in the way of a good story!