To begin this small piece of writing , I have a small confession to make: I have always found reading newspapers something of a chore. This by itself has puzzled me quite some time, because I think I am naturally curious about everything and I really do want to keep up with things.
Maybe I have some kind of case of dyslexia that just somehow makes reading hard for me, maybe I have not been able to teach myself enough patience to sit down and concentrate, maybe I have developed this inclination towards this “move and do” that it’s hard to take the time to stay still and read.. Citing my significant other on her endless yet ever brilliant one liners: God only knows, but she/he won’t tell.
During the most recent weeks I have noticed myself totally neglecting the daily newspapers, even if I have a wide variety at my disposal. And it’s not only the newspapers, the news on TV are losing their grip on me too. Searching my soul, I found multiple reasons for this.
All we care about is your click
When ever the wider audience gets excited about a particular topic, be it yet another political scandal, a polarizing question over tolerance for acceptance, equality or what ever celebrity stunt, the media smells the drama and the volume of clicks in the air (I know, they have to make money too). This thirst for clicks results in putting -by looking at the end result- probably around 90% resources in the headline and 10% in the actual story. Click and disappointments follow.
News -not really.
Freely explained and according to my understanding, the definition of a news is something that does not comply with the previous expectations. Once the media is on to something, it feasts on draining the topic bone dry ..and even with only dry bones left, you can still take a couple swings at it, just to be sure. In the mean time, the angles to the story are totally over exploited already. Coming back to the definition, is this really news anymore?
After leaving the remains of the carcass, there is no looking back. Who cares about Ukraine anymore? The immigrant problem seems to resonate far stronger with the audience. Zika has also some promising gender angle for the people to get all aggy about.
Nancy is live and kicking
Psychology Today claimed in their article “Why do we love bad news” that in media 1 positive news is being outweighed by bad news 17 fold – yes, 17! Whilst there appear to be many fascinating reasons for this, I just care about all that negativity. Not wanting to turn my back on the plight of the world, negativity catches on creating a snowball effect. Recession, anyone? All in all, there seems to be too much negativity, people victimizing themselves, and not understanding how fortunate they are. Therefore please, leave me out of the information loop, thank you very much.
Is this really necessary?
What doesn’t stop to amaze me, is how people find gossiping over mostly below average, sometimes average or rarely even above average people, a politician or not, interesting altogether. Fair enough, you might find some logical reason behind busting a presidential candidate on womanizing and extramarital relationships (former US Senator Gary Hart might be the forerunner of this area, with Clinton. DSK etc. following his trail), but sometimes the populism and thirst for drama just gets too far. Politicians easily get a proper beating if they are in the outs and seriously don’t mind their step.
What happened really?
Not supporting the Russian or any other pushy super power agenda, it would be interesting to know what really happened in Ukraine minding that eventually things tend to be very complicated. If nothing else, University years taught me source criticism and some years back, I had a lunch with a Russian colleague of mine that made me think about the true state of affairs in military conflicts with multiple actors having different interests.
Back then, the Georgian crisis was on with Russian tanks on the soil of a country that was considered sovereign. The news coverage in the west was totally judging the Russian action in Georgia. Nobody in the west, however, seemed to be paying any attention what Mikheil Saakashvili was hustling there.
Generally regarding the Russian fares, let us not forget that the Russians still have significant minorities in many former soviet countries, which makes things complicated in many ways. Same problem applies to other problems too.
It’s is hardly ever either this or that and the only thing you can be sure about is uncertainty. Related to the impact of the news on us, an interesting thing that I learned not too long ago from a Freakonomics podcast “How to be less terrible in predicting the future” is that best forecasters in the world tend not to follow on news either because of the judgement bias.
Ok, enough talking. How about doing something about this?
We are masters in pointing out problems and as a victim of extraordinary surroundings, complaining about the wrongs of life. A major source of frustration to me is when a problem is brought to my attention and no one acts on it. We just talk about it and then we leave the scene without anyone taking any concrete action points. By the way, does this sound like a typical business meeting to you? To me it does and it really grinds my gears.
The biblical cord to my bubble.
In the end and in order to avoid totally enclosing myself in a barrel, care free from the plight of the world, I still actively follow certain news podcasts. Also, as sort of temptation bundling, I promised myself to strech watching the 10 o’clock news. As I have got better used to stretching and the 35-year tension in my hamstrings is slowly but gradually relieving, Thing is, that I am not sure anymore which side of the bundle is supposed to make the other part acceptable.[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]