Are we addicted to news?


Are we addicted to the news?

We are surrounded by news—on the TV, radio, newspaper, via the plethora of news sites on the internet and not to forget social media such as Twitter.  We can access the news via our smart phones, tablets, computers, radios and TV. Once upon-a-time people waited until they got home in the evening to catch up on the day’s news. I can remember as a child listening to the news on the ABC national radio at 6pm. We all sat quietly so dad could listen to the evening news without interuption which went for around 10 mins followed by the weather.  

Now one only needs to turn on their smart phone and there is the news24/7news anytime, anywhere.

No matter where we are, we can catch the latest news. And the more news we get, the more we demand. We expect news as it happens and we aren’t prepare to wait — therefore we often don’t get “news”, we get ‘stories” created by journalists who are filling in the gaps. We have seen this recently with the missing Malaysian plane HM370.  According to iSentia, since the 8th of March for 12 days (in Australia alone) there have been 606 radio stories, 540 TV "packages" and 932 stories in print regarding the missing plane. The number of stories on the internet must be huge.  So far, no jet has been located and no reason to explain why it has disappeared. However this hasn’t stopped the new-stories going to air with “what ifs” scenarios which we all just love.  If we don't have news, we simply make it up.

News has become entertainment. Most stories are simplistic and lack quality or substances—they are aimed at the lowest common denominator. News stories, depending on what newspaper you are reading, will have a political slant, therefore much of our news has a bias. But does anyone really care or even notice. We are all so dependent on the news we will read, watch or listen to whatever is dished up to us.  

Are we becoming numb to the violent on the news?  When we hear that 50 people have died from a car bomb in Syria we no longer really care. We move on with our lives as if nothing has happened.  We are a little more concerned if people die in first world countries as they are "just like us", however the next day we move on to other news-stories and what happened yesterday is forgotten. Like our throw away society, we are also throwing away the news without any compassion for those in the news. 

Are we getting news fatigue?

News overload?

I think we are.

****

Comments

  1. Totally agree. Really, as sad as it is for those left begind, I just keep asking myself - why do we need to know what happened to the Malaysian plane? Does it really matter to me? Why do I have to keep checking for updates? Or do I need to?
    Maybe some news can warn us of danger, but the rest? It is a danger to us - losing our time, filling our brains with other's business, etc, etc, etc!
    You have done a great job - people really could save a lot of time if they didn't NEED to know! Because they probably don't need to knwo at all! =)
    love,
    Betsy

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    Replies
    1. I usually only watch the first 10 mins of the ABC news at 5pm in the evening. Anything after the first 10 minutes is really "non-news" and I can go with out watching it. And in a 30 min news slot, the sport segment can take up 10 mins of it (is that really news??).

      It each person added up how much news they watch/listen to or read in a day and times it by 365 it would be frightening. How much time we waste on nothing at all.

      Delete
  2. I rarely watch the news but I often hear the headlines & I was fascinated that as soon as the plane was declared *crashed, no survivors*, it dropped off the news radar ~ but for every person who had a loved one on board the story continues in agony & grief. I can't say I'm impressed by the media callousness.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will admit I am curious about what has happened to the plane - but that curiosity has got out of control by the news organisations. And I would agree, the media are very callous in their story telling.

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  3. Good Afternoon Jo!

    First off, I want to say thank you so much for leaving such lovely comments on my blog. I have got you added to my sidebar, so now I can stop by and say hi.

    And secondly, YES I think everyone is addicted to the news. I try real hard not to watch it but once or twice a month. It's so depressing to watch it. It makes me agitated and irritated after I watch it, so I choose not too and stay happy!

    I hope you have a wonderful day!

    Blessings,
    Amy

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    Replies
    1. Thankyou for your kind words:))

      On occasions I have counted up the number of stories on the evening news about someone dying and the "body count" and its SO depressing. I often wonder if the media thinks we only want to hear bad news and would all turn off with good new stories. Or perhaps there just aren't any good news stories around (which I find hard to believe).

      My day has been busy but nice - I hope you a lovely day:))

      Delete
  4. I don't bother with news. I don't turn on the radio. I don't buy/receive or read newspapers. I don't visit news sites on my smartphone or online. The ONLY news I ever see or read about is the bits that filter their way through to facebook - and even then I only read it if the headline interests me.
    I find ways to hear about missionary/Christian persecution information (so I can know how to pray for the real issues out there) and the main headlines or important stories about other things end up finding their way to my facebook feed... and that is more than enough for me. I just got sick of news that was really either non-news or just bad stuff about a world that I already know is sick and suffering. So I cut that out of my life - think of all the extra time I have to do other things because of that!!!! :D
    Maybe it seems harsh or calloused that I don't even try to find out about the news, but really I'm not callous or hard-hearted. Just fed up with biased news.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I read the newspaper at work as part of my job (not that modern newspapers contain that much news) and I listen to the news on the radio during the day (as I have it on in the background in my office) which can be handy if there is any local news I need to know (such as car accidents on the roads I travel). So I do like to keep up to date (which I think is important) but I don't want to over do it and drown in all the news. I am so careful which news I watch on TV - the ABC is the least bias and provides real NEWS, whereas all the stations give me a mix of soft news and entertainment so I give them a miss.

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  5. Dear Jo, I think we have become seared by the news and thinks that are terrible and include real and fiction. I do watch news at least once to twice a week. But I do not want to become a slave to the media!
    I think knowing to much of all the worlds troubles leaves us feeling stressed and helpless, Which we are not...
    Blessings, Roxy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are quite right - the news can make us feel so helpless - especially when watching overseas news like what is happening in Syria. There is nothing we can do and that is depressing. Like you, I do like to know what is going on in the world, but that can be done without watching it everyday - morning, noon and night.

      Blessings

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