By - giuliomagnifico
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it would be easier if news outlets didn't tacitly encourage doomscrolling
I know some people don't believe that but I am 100% convinced the news is out to scare you because scared people tune in
This is a well documented fact. Clicks keep their payrolls going.
Ad-funded news has to constantly compete for your attention, so it’s sensationalized and designed to make you outraged.
Subscription news makes their money from giving you a product that you think is good enough to be worth paying for.
A lot of the best subscription news is available for free via your local library.
You can even sign up to get digital editions of newspapers and magazines on your personal device.
bless the local library, a resource deserving far more praise
I think you're right that every possible party that could run the news could have ulterior motives, which is why I think fact-checking entities are important, be they private or public.
If it bleeds, it leads.
When I was a child I had the opportunity to go on a field trip to one of our local news stations. A few anchors were talking to us about their job, and one of them casually said (paraphrased) "During the early part of each broadcast, we tease the more interesting story and tell the audience that the coverage is coming on soon. That way, we can keep people watching the whole broadcast because they're waiting for the interesting story."
My naive kid brain was shocked, as I had never even considered that they would do something like that to "trick" people into watching longer. That one comment made a huge impression on me, and I recognized how well that tactic worked on my dad when he watched TV every day. I think it was extremely educational, and primed me to later understand clickbait and how media often manipulates us to drive engagement.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: media literacy should be a mandatory class for middle/high school students.
They should be aware of how and why they’re being targeted, and learn about the type of “tactics” you mentioned that are used to draw them in and keep them there.
I noticed that too and always hated that as a kid, that interesting stories kept getting pushed back to "after next break", then it turns out to be two-sentence nonsense. Same with weather.
Thanks capitalism for bringing us private news networks which only look after what sells, and not actually report news
I watch a summary news show once a week (trying to find the right balance). Today’s program had a report on increased anxiety and efforts and resources to treat it. They talked about athletes being open and taking time away for their mental health too. Nice!
Except the ending. They said people should get their anxiety treated too so they can return to the workforce. My mind went back to the daily article titles lately about work shortages, no one wants to work, maybe senior should unretire to help the work force ( but also, its good for them! Better than retirement!), quiet quitting and more.
I asked myself have I always been watching propaganda with a smattering of news? Because this anxiety piece suddenly felt like it was calculated to help more people return to work.
I’m America all of our “news” is a combination of propaganda, adverts, and special interest reporting with a thin veneer of actual fact-based reporting.
Our one public media apparatus is so flimsy and underfunded, it can barely grow or do much to help.
Media literacy is super important, and we’re all suffering the consequences of people have poor ability to digest fact from fiction and opinion.
Im not saying your wrong, but it is tricky. Are we going to have state-run media? Are we going to have the government impose regulation on journalism? Where does that end?
I think truly the only remedy is education
It is possible to have decent state funded media that can still be critical of the government. In Australia we have the ABC and it's arguably our most trusted news source. It's not perfect, but a lot better than most of the commercial crap.
There’s a difference between being informed on the events of the world, versus consuming political media news entertainment, designed specifically to confirm your biases and generate anxiety, usually through the fear of victimization by the hands of an opposing political group.
I'm old enough to remember pre-CNN news coverage. My grandfather read the paper in the morning (local news) and watched the local tv news and national news in the afternoon.
First, most of it was local and they balanced it out. The newspaper had some hard news, soft news, and one page for opinion pieces. The TV news back then had the headlines and always a few fluff pieces and then the weather.
At most he spent an hour and a half a day consuming news and at least half of that time it was very relevant to his life.
After cable news became a thing it was just a wall of national content designed to keep the watcher watching, not necessarily to inform.
24 hour news was one of the inventions that broke media. That and commercial interests and political groups slowly creeping into owning all the companies.
We had journalists, and they were the majority a while back. Not always, but we've slid into media corporations owning the news. And maybe you find a journalist out in the wild somewhere.
It goes back to the fundamental incompatability of purpose and profit.
News is mean to inform. It will often not be interesting. Slow news is usually good news. Things are stable. We should hope for slow news days.
But when your news model is profit driven, when you must maximize profits every hour of every day, you need to find SOMETHING. Something to scare people. To terrify them. To enrage them.
There's an old TED talk, first I ever watched, talking about how we are currently living in the best time ever to be alive. And that things that anger us or fear us are going to hold our attention more than things that make us happy, excited, etc. It's the so-called reptilian brain. Fear demands attention. So they show nonstop negativity because that's what's most engaging, even if not fun for the watcher.
Tack onto that that small independent media is nearly dead, our free press might be free but like 3 corporations are the only ones with the loudspeakers to have their narratives heard.
I also think they should differentiate regular "news" and "politics." I don't watch the nightly news, missing persons or kidnappings or natural disasters or whatever. But I do follow politics and am very interested in legislation.
If you haven't already, check out Factfulness by Hans Rosling. It discusses this in length; that the world is literally the best it's ever been, we're just hyper aware of global issues.
What about the countless hours one can lose on tick tick though watching funny stories? I get dark stories can be captivating but feeling anxious is not something that would hold my attention. In fact as I get older I questioned why I put myself through unnecessary anxiety and so I don't mindlessly watch horror movies anymore for example.
With global news access I used to feel a need to bear witness to worldwide events to acknowledge/validate what other pple experienced but eventually I decided if "god" can't be arsed then what more of me. I took this approach even to unburden myself from fixing family problems or politics. I try to just take what comes my way and leave the rest. It's not perfect but I try.
You can have profit and purpose. See Patagonia. However, those types of businesses are outlier and it’s true they are usually opposed. It takes massive additional effort to balance the two. But they are NOT mutually exclusive fundamentally.
>24 hour news was one of the inventions that broke media.
When you stop and think about it for a moment, what can you talk about for 24 hours straight, short of some type of national/world calamity?
It's just variations on parroting about the same thing all day.
Indeed. And scary and bad things, grab us and get us watching.
>IS YOUR CHILD GOING TO DIE, TUNE IN AT 11.
The fear and anger stuff works probably because we are evolutionarily wired to pay attention to such things. Modern media is exploiting a survival mechanism.
>IS YOUR CHILD GOING TO DIE, TUNE IN AT 11
11:00 - Special report tonight about whether your child is going to die, but first.
11:19 - Coming up, Dan Rankins with the weather, how is your weekend going to look? The Food Festival is coming to town, and is your child going to die? All of that, after the break.
11:28 - Now, time for our special report. Candice Walters, tell us, is it true? Are our children at risk? Are they going to die?
11:29 - No.
11:30 - Thank you, Candice. Well, that's it for WBQC News at 11. Tune in tomorrow for our special report on BROCCOLI - HEALTHY OR TOXIC FOR YOUR LIVER?
Pretty much exactly that. You nailed it.
Broccoli toxic? That is what big Cauliflower wants you to think.
That last one reminds me of a Dr. Oz stunt. I didn’t really watch the show but he kept advertising this thing not to eat. I think it turned out to be apples or their seeds after several days of anticipation.
Those teasers on the local channels make me laugh and _not_ want to tune in.
_Will the sun explode? Find out, tonight at 10_
A lot actually. A good example you can watch for free any time is France24. With some flexibility every 30 minutes they have a news segment which is 10-15 minutes depending. These will of course be repetitive to a degree, but the point is you can turn it on whenever and be updated, not that your watch every single one of them. The point is that they're mostly interchangeable. Of course insofar as the situation is changing you'll definitely be informed. In addition to these they then have segments where they talk about more major events, I particularly enjoy the comments of Douglas Herbert who tends to have great (geo)political insights and is fun to listen to. Then they have various programmes throughout the day in between focusing on various things. Sometimes the French entertainment industry, sometimes Bolivian women, sometimes Russian influence in the Central African Republic. There's always something going on in the world and the stuff they show is both varied and genuinely interesting.
~~I am not paid to advertise France24, I'm shilling for them of my own volition~~
>Not always, but we've slid into media corporations owning the news
Honestly, that's not all that different from the Yellow Journalism of the late 19th Century.
Exactly. I think it's easier for a lot of us to think "ah the news wasn't always so bad" but there have been cycles and definitely we've had news agencies be this bad before.
I think the difference now likely is modern technology and being constantly connected to our devices, and electronic media and communications have made it all feel so much more ubiquitous and suffocating.
They were following the trend I believe, they went 24/7 adapting from an audience with a local/national mindset to a globalized mindset
Have you ever read a book called “Amusing ourselves to death”?
One of the key elements in those days was that there were just a few major networks, all competing for the same viewers, so they couldn't afford to alienate any large demographic. They all at least tried to appear objective. Even opinion segments were (a) clearly flagged as opinions and (b) relatively moderate compared to what airs today.
But with cable we got the business model of catering to what one demographic wants to hear, and it doesn't matter (maybe even helps) if other demographics say it's a distortion. I honestly believe this was a major step on the path to the polarization we have today.
Hell even old school CNN was a great source of information. One of my earliest memories of political consciousness was the NAFTA debate on Larry King Live between Gore and Perot. It's impossible to imagine a substantive debate nowadays where reasonable people can disagree and still inform the audience.
Exactly why this Boomer does not consume news broadcasts anymore. So tired of "if it bleeds, it leads."
On the other hand, now we have access to stories that would never have been reported in those days. And “balanced” was as problematic then as it is now (for outlets that don’t overtly cater to an ideological niche). There is always bias in coverage, and always bias in what is not covered.
The fall of local news is obviously tragic, without qualification. Same with the consolidation of media conglomerates more broadly. But the wide variety of sources with different ideological bents is not all bad; there is a lot more information out there and there are a lot more minority viewpoints available that used to be drowned out. Of course we traded that ideological homogeneity for fringe loony echo-chambers, which has a lot of downsides.
There’s a corporate bias more exaggerated now and since Bush Sr. let media conglomerates merge.
There may have been some bias back then, but it wasn't nearly as bad as it is now. Keep in mind, this is pre-Limbaugh and talk radio. The standard bearer of the day were guys like Kronkite... Integrity in reporting was still a thing. There were fewer sources, but they were much, much higher quality sources.
I think that is a rosy view. There was more integrity in what was reported, but a lot firmly left below the carpet - some of which is addressed nowadays.
There is still high quality journalism out there, but more and more those are small independent pieces, and a lot of it has moved into non-fiction and / or podcasts; partially because our understanding of the world is so much more complex; it takes more time to really pull apart than what you can do than what iw possibile in a newspaper article, or the fast-paced news cycle.
You may want to look up the history of the newspaper magnates like Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst.
This comment made me laugh. Local news and getting the paper was still prevalent through the 90s. Being “old enough” means you’re like 30 or older. On Reddit, that means you’re a grandparent
There are college seniors right now born after 9/11, a time before widespread broadband is considered a bygone era to them.
People that age are also over-represented on reddit.
TV news back then was balanced by legislation, Reagan got rid of that
This is what I wanted to say - the Fairness Doctrine worked at least a little.
And the Fairness Doctrine only applied to the networks, not cable, which in the end is the most egregious.
The fairness doctrine balanced Democrats and Republicans. The news back then was *heavily* biased along class and racial lines
I don’t know when cnn started, but I do know I was 13 (1992) before my town got cable, and 15 before it went far out enough for us to have cable actually at *our* house.
This is still how my grandma and her husband (both 91) watch the news. My grandma reads the local papers (a daily one from the city she’s currently in and a weekly one from the county we are from), watches the 12 o’clock news, then watches the 5pm local news and the 6pm national nbc news. And that’s it.
There's parts of me that want to agree with you, but the reality is even in that news media landscape propaganda was the top priority. News papers weren't talking about mutual aid done by political parties, but if one person that claimed to be an anarchist was arrested for being drunk, that would be plastered everywhere.
The news back then was just as biased and uselessly self centered. The local Cornhole grounds being renamed isn't an actual issue and no one needs to know about it, but that's what local news was. Verbatim reprinting police statements, government statements.
My first job was delivering newspapers.
My Dad was a news hound. He'd read the paper in the morning, watch the evening news when he got home from work and would watch the late night international news in the evening.
I learned really early on that good journalism is important.
I still read the physical copy of the paper on the weekend and it's depressing. Mostly because of how bad the quality of 'reporting is'.
I live in Canada. In my province alone, one company owns 30 newspapers. They own both major papers in my city which is a massive conflict of interest but no one seems to care which is crazy to me.
Canadians don't even own the parent company. It's owned by American vulture capitalists affiliated to the National Enquirer tabloid chain.
It sucks. Our politics are being manipulated and we're being gamed into the same partisan trap that developed in the US after the media was deregulated there.
While I’m as guilty as anyone nowadays of getting a lot of my news from Reddit and Twitter scrolling, I make it a point to still listen to 1010WINS when I’m in the car (I live in the NYC metro area). Obviously no news source is 100% unbiased but I’m glad they exist as a general news source without any added nonsense. They just provide news highlights with short explanations and occasional interviews, covering local, US, and world. If I want to know more, then I can go look it up in other papers or on Wikipedia. It’s great.
Going to take this sentiment to rep the PBS Newshour as being similarly relatively reliable, they have their own biases but are fairly solid most of the time.
One thing I find interesting is that our present media landscape seems to be a reversion to about 100 years ago. I've heard a lot about reporting in the latter half of the 20th Century being much more professional and balanced, but in the past couple decades it's clearly given way to a media landscape more like the late 19th and earlier 20th centuries, when the press was dominated by highly political and sensationalist papers owned by mogul like William Randolph Hearst and Alfred Hugenberg.
Not only this, but it's not something we evolved to take in. It's a firehose of negativity about millions upon millions of people, and that is not at all what our brains evolved with. It's not natural for any human being to take in that much. It's important to be informed, but there is a point where news is no longer informative and is instead just a firehose of negativity that ruins your ability to think and think peacefully. And when you reach this point, you aren't really able to help yourself or others. It does nothing but hurt you.
It's a balance that increased technology and global connectivity make necessary. We can't know everything about everyone all the time or we'll lose the ability to function properly ourselves.
True! As we digest negative information our minds will naturally try to come up with solutions (survival mechanism against threats). When those solutions are constantly ignored (very few people actually are tasked with solving problems presented in the news), it can ramp up anxiety as we constantly feel unsafe. I think this might be what sparks a lot of the disengagement, as people become resentful of the system which doesn’t stop making them feel unsafe.
Spot on. It forces us to constantly see how powerless we are as individuals, and when you feel alone or like others aren't listening then everything just begins to feel hopeless. Mainstream news, especially, really makes it seem like we're more divided than we actually are, and this instills an eternal hopelessness that causes people to become overwhelmed to the point they can no longer function properly or fight back.
There was a study posted in another subreddit that stated, "People who eat meatless show higher rates of depression," and a lot of people took that to mean something negative about the diet itself. But the thing is, the study doesn't hold up against the many others in different countries, cultures, and demographics, and shows that the likelier culprit of depression is awareness of how fucked up the meat industry is while being unable to change it alone *and* while you have ignorant, hateful people jeering at you for just trying to do good. And I am not even talking about the extremists in vegan and vegetarian circles, who do deserve criticism for their methods.
(I say this as someone who eats meat and fake meat, before anyone wants to come in with pointless arguments.)
Awareness is so important, but when it gets to the point that it's deeply, negatively affecting mental health and one's ability to interact positively with the world, it is no longer useful. It needs to be curbed enough that positive interaction becomes a possibility again.
>Awareness is so important, but when it gets to the point that it's deeply, negatively affecting mental health...
My therapist is not a fan of 24/7 news, especially if you suffer from Depression or Anxiety. Two or three times a week is more than enough to check in world events.
>as people become resentful of the system which doesn’t stop making them feel unsafe.
I'm disillusioned too, but I'm not really resentful. More resigned or apathetic.
Exactly. Corporate news, which comes into your home free of charge, like junk mail, is designed to be sensationalist and emotionally manipulative.
It is not designed to inform or educate, which is why they lie and lie by omission.
Avoiding this manipulation is psychologically healthy
Which was us our biggest reason for tossing the TV.
The lower the networks or media outlets ratings are, the worse the weather forecast gets, or the more dire the news becomes.
We decided to throw all that manipulation and induced stress away.
I get it honestly. Smart ppl tell you that they watch the news but still use their own informed decisions on what to take from it. But for me I feel like it’s just getting harder and harder to do when it’s in your face everyday. Like it takes a mental toll to have to decipher what it is that’s really being said. And that’s exhausting. So I understand why ppl just avoid it altogether
It would be a lot simpler to me if it was just a mono tone AI stating nothing but the known facts
As I was on the treadmill today, the gym had a slew of new entertainment going and it really highlighted how blatantly obvious it is these shows are designed not to inform but to sway opinions and keep people entrenched in what “their party” wants them to.
One of our marketing assignments was to watch the news and count who and what was being advertised. You should see a clear winner in most cases.
Good luck finding a media source for just news without bias
If you don't watch the news, you're uninformed. If you do watch the news, you're misinformed.
Mark Twain more or less.
Leave it to Reuters to conflate consuming news with political and civic engagement.
Shocking that a financial/global news company would pay for this survey proving it's very important that people consume Reuters-brand news 24/7.
> being informed on events of the world
These alone, even reported dispassionately and objectively, are enough to cause anxiety
True, but in order to make that work you need media literacy, which is not something most high schools teach, and not something that was taught at all 25 years ago.
Bro 100%, there's wars and conflicts in the world that I'm still just learning about to this day, it's insane. They are never covered in what people call "news" they tell you what they want you to see. Real engagement with the world takes deep diving and effort. Something i don't always have the time to do. Aside from big headlines i could give two shits about what the mass media calls "news". It isn't about anxiety, it's about knowing better.
I agree, but I also hope people recognize that reddit absolutely falls into the latter category. I also think the pool of information in media not concealing an agenda has shrunk to the point that sensationalism has become the rule rather than the exception. People saying just consume the "true" media are usually just promoting their side.
I don't think it's an incorrect assessment of the news to find it irrelevant and full of dread. That's an objective fact. My news feed this morning informed me of dozens of corpses all over the world, including a mass shooting in the US (I'm Canadian), a flooding I'm some other country, a stabbing in a different province. What do I do with this information except to feel bad? I never asked for these alerts either, the news can go to hell
Well, I never saw any of those stories and I had a nice day.
I guess the post makes sense then.
Yeah, it’s a double edged sword. My grandfather used to have a saying to my teenaged mother that went something like “You want to live in this world a while??” Pointing to the newspaper. He was right, but nowadays it’s all about the hits, not newspaper sales. Because of this, critical thinking is required before choosing a headline to engage with, and perhaps reading into the first paragraph or so - it can be exhausting.
one simple trick...
TOP 20 ways to get someone's attention. You won't BELIEVE #14!
A local fireman took this Top 20 list to the vet, and when he saw the x-ray, he immediately phoned the police!
In the newspaper business, “good news is no news” and “if it bleeds, it leads”. It’s a deliberate policy to get clicks. So, yeah, curate your news sources carefully.
I seem to remember Henry David Thoreau writing about that in Walden, so this has been going on for a long time
My grandmother had a clipping from her local newspaper which ran a story about the time her brother got stuck up a tree in their back yard. All that happened was he climbed up and a branch broke, so he couldn't climb back down. He sat on a branch and hollered to his mother. She rang the fire department, they brought a ladder, and he was down in about an hour.
The newspaper would have you believe he was clinging up there through a rain and lightening storm as his distraught mother and war hero father clung to each other praying and crying over their son who hung perilously close to death.
She kept it all her life to remind herself that the news is full of BS.
Times can change but can't change the power fear holds over our attention
That's been true since long before the internet or even TV and radio existed. The relatively sane period in US journalism that we had between WW2 and the 1990s is the exception not the rule, and even that period wasn't all wine and roses.
Exactly, it’s of no actual relevance or use to you, it’s deathertainment, not news
Agreed. I don’t need to know that something horrible happened on the other side of the world in an isolated incident that’s never going to affect me. I just don’t. I’m sorry for those people and genuinely hope things turn out as okay as possible for them, but the world is full of all kinds of suffering everywhere all the time, and if I’m to preserve my own sanity I have to ignore the large majority of it which I can’t realistically do anything about and doesn’t affect me. I want to know what’s going on out there only to the extent that it affects me and/or I can do something about it and/or I need to know about it to have the basic level of current event awareness expected of a functioning adult.
Yeah the headline reads as: "rational people make correct decisions about their news intake."
My parents told me I should watch the news daily to stay informed… but I think I‘d be much better off if I didn’t. But it‘ll stay ingrained in me that I should be informed even though it makes me really anxious sometimes without giving me anything but a topic to talk about…
It occurred to me that I find solace in watching the news through nighttime talk show openers and The Daily Show. Something about them making jokes about all the things happening makes it more palatable. Still informed, enough to do actual research if I want to know more, but not with the intentional anxiety of regular news.
Jeez this. Seth Meyers Closer look got me through the trump administration. Love Jon Oliver too.
I've noticed that since I stopped watching the news and instead only read the news I am much less anxious.
It's much easier to skip over a "If it bleeds, it leads" story than it is to skip an entire section of the televised news.
US here. I’ve not seen news of a mass shooting today. Specifics?
Just happened at an amusement park this morning
Some kind of amusement park near Pittsburgh, 3 injured. No reported deaths I can find.
I agree. The death of local news (what is my city council doing? I have no idea), sub-par provincial news, and *way too much* coverage of American violence and politics is the exact opposite of what I, as a Canadian, need.
Unfortunately competent local news coverage is expensive, and the combination of our local papers being bought up by hedge-fund owned media chains and massive internet companies scooping up all the advertising dollars means that there are few journalists covering local news these days.
People are getting a skewed perspective of reality because news is so highly focused on negativity. It's important to be aware of the wrong that's happening in the world, but when that's all you ever hear you forget the good things people are doing on a daily basis. I feel like people online are becoming more toxic and argumentative nowadays partly because of this.
My father is schizophrenic and the most innocent person I have ever known. He's been almost like a child the past 10 years because of the strong anti-psychotics that he needs to take. He cannot tolerate any news at all for this very reason. It always upsets him. I almost envy his ignorance of the constant barrage of terrible things that have been happening forever, but are now being reported on much more frequently nowadays.
Pretty sure there are plenty of studies that show the news is bad for mental health since it exaggerates the negative.
Yes exactly, I can pinpoint the exact point I disengaged with most personal news content: it was omicron variant. I’d followed closely the full covid news cycle, and I realised the exact pattern that would happen when omicron hit, they would talk every day about which country it had reached next then finally it would reach the U.K. then they would say how it had actually been here much longer than assumed and then they would have daily case trackers. None of that news would change my daily life, I’d still be in lockdown and still probably need another vaccine which id hear about via text so… why tune in
After this I didn’t go back too closely to following things. I work on a trading desk so for work I keep up to date with major news items and central bank numbers etc. but outside of work I just kinda… don’t
I had the exact same experience. But I found an added incentive to ignore it all. At the height of the pandemic, when everyone was at their lowest and most anxious, the BBC saw fit to publish the following headline: “with vaccine efficacy waning and cases rising, is now the time to panic?”. That is a near verbatim quote and I have never seen a more irresponsible headline in all my life. That’s when I was sure it’s all about creating fear in their readers and that’s disgusting.
Great, now I'm afraid of hiccups as well.
Hiccups can melt steel beams
Negativity in general is overpowering. One bad thing can happen and it could take like at least 3 good things that same day to turn things around.
Avoiding news is one of the easiest steps anyone can take to better their mental health. Especially how low quality most news outlets are, I'm more or less surprised that anyone even still cares about whatever news is being reported.
I still get the local paper and it's mostly useful information and not all fear mongering. National news is the problem.
Enjoy it while you can. Local news has been in free fall over the last 2 decades. The numbers are jaw-dropping.
That's definitely why I make a point to buy it. I've met some local journalists and they work really hard and care so much for their communities.
We lost our last local newspaper 4 years ago. I'm not even sure if there's any options in my area anymore for any sort of news by mail.
I think I'm the problem. I should find a newspaper that doesn't suck and buy their news.
My local newspaper has a decent enough website, I routinely check to see what’s going on locally. Maybe yours has one too.
I listen to my local NPR station and they cover obscure local news better than the TV news channels. And it's not fear mongering like the mainstream news outlets
Agreed. I think it's still important to know what's going on so I cut out any biased news sources and stick to sources that just report the news and no spin on it of any kind or opinions. I also don't read the comments on news articles anymore because it's nothing but bickering. Mental health has improved significantly since then.
Yeah, I'd be interested in knowing what some of those sources are.
Allsides.org for the most part just aggregates news stories marked for the direction they lean. So you can read a couple from various sources to try and find the key facts they share. It's a bit more work, but that's as close as I've found.
Groundnews is a similar concept
I mainly listen to The Intelligence from the Economist and NPR News Now and mainly read the headlines on AP. I know most of those are probably somewhat left leaning, but the opinion and commentary is pretty minimal. Most pieces just state here's what happened, and here's how it happened.
I've read The Economist for over a decade.
They're heavilly biased, not as much in a traditional political ideology way but more in that they heavilly favour bi-party political systems (and, by an "amazing coincidence", the UK's is one) and have a mercantilistic view of politics (i.e. politics should focus on doing what's good for business).
They're a "make no waves" (they openly value "stability above equal voting weight" in political systems) neoliberal news media.
Their Intelligence Unit seems to be affected by this posture, both in the subjects they choose to look at, the angled they look at them and, sadly, at times by the "seek the inputs which provide the desired outputs" practices so common in Think Tanks and Quants departments creating models in Investment Banks.
> so I cut out any biased news sources
Sure, me too. That's why I no longer read any! ;)
Agreed, that has also extended to social media for me. I check Facebook and Instagram once a week just to see if i have any important notifications and never downloaded Twitter or TikTok. It’s helped me out
What a dumpster fire of a title
Right?! I’m disappointed I had to scroll this far down to see this.
I'm guilty of this.
I'm tired of worrying about things outside my control, but I also like to be informed, so it's difficult.
It is doom scrolling. Nothing on the news except bad crap,and gossip. Make your life less stressful.
It ceased to be news quite a while ago. News sites don't care if you are *informed*, they just care if you are *engaged* so you keep coming back and they get their ad revenue or affiliate dollars.
What we have now are mainly revenue generating opinion pieces. And that is a great way to encourage echo chambers.
And this is the reason why I don't care for news. It's not that I don't want to be informed, it's this venomous idea that everything in life is driven by greed and profits for the rich 0.1%. It seeps into everything and sick of being treated like cattle only to be milked for a few extra pennies
Apparently from the votes, not many agree with the title (at all).
I can say I don't watch the news primarily because of false information, or heavily influenced information that doesn't reflect reality.
The news is more about spectacular drama, than giving out factual neutral information.
The news is more about division than about how we all as Americans, face an issue we all have to address, without categorizing a large portion of the population into one or another camp.
The news is quite often backed by financial contributors wanting to hear one side of the story (quite often even exaggerated), aimed for the malleable to form a false opinion, and isn't aimed for helping the viewer at all.
But most of all, the news, like anything else tv, is filled with spam, scam, and all kinds of ridiculous ads, that I don't want to see or hear.
I can't remember the last time I watched TV, but if saying "the last time I watched TV, a 5 minute ad showed once to twice an hour" means anything...
Two things I've learned about consuming the news over the past few years:
1) choose your sources carefully. I try to stick to Reuters or AP when learning about world events. Branching out from these usually involves reading a heavy amount of spin, so if I do go off my beaten path, I go in knowing I'm reading more of an opinion piece. My local rag is used solely for local news, where there are fewer opportunities for the conservative ownership to spin the facts.
2) choose what to read up on. I'm Canadian, so reading about mass shootings in the US does nothing for me except cloud my brain with tragic stories that don't affect me in any way. Yes, I'm aware that a shooting took place in Uvalde. No, I will not read countless stories about the situation. I can't affect change there, and I won't subject myself to an onslaught of tragedy.
It’s certainly a balancing act. Read the news, raise depression, stay informed and involved. Ignore the news, keep depression manageable, be less informed and involved.
I feel like the level of news has really expanded to the point where limited engagement is probably just fine, provided you are engaging with pertinent facts. 24 hour news channels and opinion channels are just an unnecessary glut of information
I read the news from 4 news sources: AP, Reuters, BBC and NPR. I never watch the news.
I'm similar in my news diet, both in terms of sources, and in terms of almost exclusively reading my news. The downside is when I learn a name or location by reading, I butcher the pronunciation when discussing later.
I just tell people "I'm not stupid I'm a reader." When I butcher a word.
I have a similar problem with not necessarily knowing what prominent people look like because I've only ever read about them or heard about them on radio or podcast. It's not a bad problem to have though. I have a degree in journalism --only tangentially work in the field though-- which doesn't make me an expert, but does give me a bit of insight into news and mass communication that I think your average consumer lacks, and if you're sticking to the big wire services, the BBC, NPR and the like, you're basically doing it right and are likely to be far better informed than your average cable news viewer.
Watching the news is a complete waste of time. The information density is so low.
As in watching vs. reading? If so, I agree
Yes, I realize now I didn't specify that.
An hour reading good journalism is way more valuable than an hour watching the news.
PBS is also good for their nightly news.
If available to you I’d check to see if you/or people in general, have a decent source for local news preferably a newspaper (most have websites/apps). Just because local policies/politics have the biggest impacts on day to day lives and is quite often the most impact people can have during elections too.
People should know that the big wire services like AP, Reuters, AFP and UPI aren't a single source. They all do have their own staff reporters, but any subscriber can contribute stories to them as well, they just have to conform to a specific set of guidelines and style. This is how an article from a small town newspaper can get picked up off "the wire" and go all over the world, for example. Of course it's not as relevant as it used to be now that anything on the internet can go viral, but it's still a thing since the wire services often won't have their own people on the ground when a big story breaks in an obscure location.
"and by extension civic and political affairs" -- I think that's an overgeneralization. A person could read the news everyday, and still not be directly involved in political affairs--just have opinions on it.
Oh but don't you know? Having an opinion about something is exactly the same as being an activist and doing something about it.
Also I can be pretty much up to date on civic and political affairs by checking the news for usually less than an hour once a week. I don't need the same 5 or 6 "hot" issues regurgitated to me every day of the week.
Yeah I stopped following it in summer 2020 because it just made me feel terrible. Have been much happier since. I am not a citizen yet so I can't vote anyway. (I have my English language test later today though!)
I avoid the mainstream news because it’s not news. It’s opinion.
Here in Portugal we just had pretty much all TV-channels covering the whole series of State events in the UK around their Queen's death for over 10 days (I say over 10 days because some even did "the day after" segments), several times using more than half the program time in the main news programs in this country.
I can understand it in the UK itself, but this country is not even a member of the Commonwealth.
What kind of "news" is coverage of what is essentially 10 days of State Organised parades in another country around something which was a natural, non-violent event, expected in the near future and only directly affecting one person who has lived a life better than 99.999999% (and yeah, I do mean 1-in-100 million) of people, even if it was the Head Of State of that country???
The "Queen of Great Britain is dead" is undoubtfully news, but is 10 minutes of Vox Populi on day 3 of the State Organised events around it in Britain still news?
Whilst I do have a certain opionion about the quality of the newsmedia and politicians in this country, that is not relevant here: what is relevant is how much of the coverage beyond the actual news of the death of the British Head Of State remained news and how much was what I would call "infotainment".
From what I've seen in other countries when living there (including the UK), the filling of news with low or null-newsvalue overreporting of ongoing entirelly predictable and organised state events is not at all unique to Portugal and possibly a historically recent practice.
While this specific case is anecdotal (even if it impacted those amongst the 10 million people living here who still watch the news) it raises the question of how much the quality of what passes for "news" at the moment weights on people's decision that "I won't watch news programs because the positivies I get out of them are not worth for me the risk of exposed to news that leave me feeling bad".
If the fraction of news programs which is low or null-value infotainment increases, it might have an impact on people's decisions to simply not watch the news since more infotainment reduces de likelihood of seeing relevant news (i.e. the ones that matter for engagement in civic and political affairs), if you will a increasingly "needle in a haystack" effect.
It would be interesting if those ladies and gentleman at the Reuters funded Reuters Institute For The Study Of Journalism in the University of Oxford also looked at the historical change of the value for the viewer of the news programs rather than only at how much are viewers to blame for not watching news.
We are basically back in the days of Yellow Journalism now. ~~News~~ *Content* is designed to trigger fear and outrage.
“By extension” is a big leap. Was this study funded by Newscorp Inc.
Mainstream news is generally awful. Biased, corrupt and sensational. Not trustworthy sadly.
This makes sense.
Most People can't afford to be any more anxious about things outside of their control.
I went no contact with the news in 2016 after being a lifelong NPR junkie. No doubt about it, it WAS making me anxious. I'm much happier now.
I find out the important stuff, but don't need the daily barrage of doom.
Nearly all news is irrelevant. Not only that, but if you don't consume it, your brain isn't affected by whatever narrative they are spinning. Even normal news has a bit of a narrative.
"Those who avoid the news because its irrelevant, results in them not engaging with the news."
No, I can't believe it, tell me it isn't so. Can I apply for a grant funded study and have my findings be this obvious?
I wonder if the blatant lies from every major news source has something to do with people not wanting to participate. At the end of the day, most people can only control whats going on in their own lives.
Or they avoid news to keep their sanity and preserve their mental health
Yes that's what the title says
Gloom and doom and more gloom and doom. Getting sucked into every problem that's happened, happening or will happen in the world and literally not being able to change anything, of course will result in negative mental effects.
I was hard into UK and US politics 2019-2021 but made a conscious decision in 2022 to stay well away from all that garbage, feel much better now.
Oh you mean the news that is made to generate clicks? The headlines you cannot look away from. The videos with just the right amount of attention grabbing drama. No wonder…
Brought to you but the struggling news outlets
I just don't watch because there's no news anymore. Just sensationalism.
study finds who avoid supermarket do it because don't know what to eat
Why does that wording sound so strange to me? Am I just bad at English?
No, I avoid the news because it's not news it's politicized fear-mongering.
Well, they're not wrong. I got a lot happier and more optimistic when I switched from reading the newspaper to only reading newsletters on specific topics that interest me.
Wife and I were visiting Mexico during Biden/trump elections and we were talking about it during lunch. The waiter asked us what we were talking about. When we told him, he asked ‘who is the USA president anyways?’ Trump. ‘Who?’ It was blissful
That is where I am heading. Why read news when it is always depressing, or it leads to someone wanting my money?
Apathy and ignorance for how the process works is what many elected officials count on.
as a kid in the 80s and 90s i didnt pay attention to the news most of the time because it was war this russia and china that. now with global warming and ignoring its source, the resurge of fashism in the "developed" world, corruption and war everywhere and russia this china that,
i am tired.
As a kid in that era I actually did pay attention to the news because for some reason it interested me, and my parents were very into politics so there was a lot of it to see and hear. But even as a kid I felt hopeful because I saw progress with the fall of the Berlin wall and the end of Apartheid and the tech boom democratizing access to information and so on. Bad stuff was still happening but there was at least some effort to deal with them and move humanity forward. That seemed to all come to a screeching halt in September of 2001.
I avoid the news bc it's mostly just propaganda guided by their shareholders
it’s amazing that dropping the seemingly pointless “that” made my reading this title seem like i was was having a stroke
edit: maybe i really was was