Tuesday, 10 June 2008

The News

I've written in the past about my interest in the news. I like to keep current about what's going on in my city, province, country and world. In high school I read the Toronto Star newspaper that was delivered to our house Mondays through Saturdays. And yes, I read more than the comics! I generally flipped through the main news section, the entertainment section, the hockey pages of the sports section, and then always enjoyed the daily crossword and weekly puzzles.

When I moved out, it wasn't in my budget to have a daily newspaper delivery, but it was just at that time that newspapers were coming online, and so I was able to catch up on the news mornings before work/school. I kept with the Toronto Star. I enjoyed the immediacy of it - news stories updated throughout the day. I also began driving to and from school and work a lot, which meant I was listening to AM 680 - our local news radio station. They broadcast new 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Their slogan was: "Read it tomorrow, see it tonight, or hear it now." Talk about living in an instant gratification culture!

Once I had my first child, I switched to television news. It was a lot easier to watch than try and sit at our computer with a baby on my lap. I moved from the Toronto Star to Global News. I chose Global News because their morning news had no "filler" (guests, interviews, etc) - anytime you flipped it on they were talking news. Their nightly news combined both local, national and international news, which meant I didn't have to watch a full hour of news to get everything.

But lately I have been reexamining my news habits. I started noticing that "news" I was watching was barely more than the latest shooting, stabbing, or other violent crime. Story after story, news reporters were infiltrating people's lives in the middle of crisis and tragedy. I began to wonder: why is this news? Really, it was nothing more than voyeurism. It felt like September 11th 2001, when every 10 minutes or so someone was rebroadcasting the towers falling. I didn't need to be witnessing that tragedy over and over and over.

Have you noticed what counts as news lately? How inflated some issues are, and how others (arguably the more important) are barely mentioned? Don't even get me started on the coverage of celebrities. If you get a chance, this video really changed my view of how I try to know what is really going on around me.

I still have a penchant for news, but I've jumped channels now. On the radio, I listen to our national broadcasting station, the CBC. They are a great potpourri of Canadian music, current issues, and interesting interviews. On TV I tune into CTV, which is national and international news at 11pm. With the advances in technology, the world is shrinking, and now my neighbours aren't just those on my street, but the whole world. I heard this quote yesterday: "In order to have a better world in which we live, we need to pay attention, get involved and never look away." My view of the world and my part in it is expanding - I hope in some way I too can affect it for good.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There was once a program that showed nothing but good news. It failed miserably. What a sad commentary on our society. Aaron watchesand reads news constantly. He falls asleep to CNN and has his news alerts sent to his phone. I was always found the news frightening, it gave me nightmares as a child and still bothers me. I get my, "news" from The View :).