There are times in my life when I’ve gone for years at a time without picking up a newspaper or watching TV news. I’ve found it refreshing, and kind of fun to catch up a bit when I connect again. The last few years I’ve been watching the news, reading the paper, etc., and can only conclude that it’s morbid fascination that brings me back. This latest phase of news-watching started after 9/11 and I feel no wiser for most of what I’ve read or heard. I do often feel angry at what I hear, which reflects my frustration at feeling challenged in my belief that as a society we are improving and progressing. And subscribing to specific newsfeeds, be they technical or focused on other areas of interest, can bring me the info I really want. Watching historical documentaries, given the passage of enough time, is cool. That time seems to allow for perspective and something possibly closer to reality.
IMHO, what we see and read is heavily filtered, not by some great conspiracy, but by the natural biases and limited perspective that any reporter will have in real-time reporting. When I’ve personally experienced politics or business or native community or whatever, the conclusions I reached were vastly different than those of the media, and what I’d read or seen on TV was of little relevance. So I think media watching is of more value as entertainment, or as fodder for conversation than of true understanding.
It seems like I’m telling myself it’s time to turn it off again. Time to chill.