Since writing Post No. 1 in my MSM detox series, I’ve been a bit more zealous about not exposing myself to local corporate media, mainly stuff.co.nz and nzherald.co.nz, instead going to the Radio New Zealand website and Scoop.co.nz for “news” and checking out a few (but not many) blogs (and never ever ever reading any comments) for the occasional spot of commentary. And, for those who haven’t waded through that first post, I’m not on Twitter or Facebook, so that’s easy to avoid.
Anyway, since quitting NZH and Stuff altogether and in a more concerted fashion, I really do feel a whole lot better for it. (I should have mentioned that I gave up so-called TV News over a year ago. Just ugh! So I don’t visit their sites either. More than a few additional benefits from that decision below.)
Radio New Zealand isn’t into click-bait; their headlines are a bit of a trip back in time to the days when headlines were pretty straight-up: theirs seem intended to inform not sensationalise. Which brings me to the issue of “breaking news/scoops”.
Who Cares Who Got It First? Not You!
Forget about who gets it first. Who cares? Sure, the journalists do. But you don’t need to. Really, think about it: unless there’s a tsunami coming or some other disaster you really really need to know about (and then you should turn on the radio anyway because your internet is probably about to cut out), why would you care who “got” Kim Dotcom’s driving conviction (I actually don’t know, obviously, but I saw it just now on RNZ). If it’s important, my proposed news provider of choice (RNZ) will pick it up eventually. If it’s not important (again: “Jessica Biel Goes Shopping in Auckland”) then it’s better than you not know. It’s better that this rubbish isn’t cluttering up your valuable working memory. It’s better that it isn’t evoking some emotion you’d rather not be having. It’s better that you save the “tut tutting” and getting your undies in a twist for important stuff.