Stop following the news

It’s been a few years since I stopped reading news. Of course I know what’s happening around me in general because sometimes I go on twitter or it comes up in public. But otherwise, there is no reason a regular person should be chasing news every day.

Many years ago Doordarshan used to air daily news for 15 minutes at 7 in the evening. My father used to catch it every evening. It was a ritual for him. He would read the papers each morning too. And some time later Doordarshan decided to increase the duration of daily news program to 30 minutes and I remember thinking how can they find twice the amount of news suddenly? Why weren’t they telling us whatever extra they have now to tell, before? Fast forward some years, we have multiple 24 hour news channels. Whatever extra news there is for you to know now, and quickly at that thanks to technology, you have very little use for. There is next to nothing you can do to influence its outcome or improve a situation.

We all already know that news channels need to sensationalize every single thing to keep viewers hooked. They need to turn up the scale of sensationalization ever so slightly with each passing day, else people will stop showing up. I don’t know what it is but it’s not news any more. Definitely not useful news. Also one can’t put any real thought behind the writing when on the clock to come up with catchy bites. Adding to the problem is the fact that most people writing news aren’t experts in the fields they’re writing news. Their expertise lies in making something sound catchy. But at some point they cross over to being experts on the subject itself.

If there’s something you should know, that news will trickle down to you. It’s hard to miss it in today’s world.

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