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What Is The News For?

I didn’t start today well at all. The first thing I did when I sat down with my bowl of cereal was scan the news. Ugh. Every single headline was about something horrible and hopeless.

Now I can deal with the horrible. Horrible things get me riled up and wanting to fix them, or at least make my part of the world better.

It’s the hopeless that I have a problem with.

I used to think the News was about keeping us informed. We don’t want to be isolated, self-centred individuals, right?

But these days, the News isn’t about keeping us informed. It’s all about keeping us reading the news. Eyeballs. Time ‘engaged’. No different than Facebook or Instagram.

And there’s no better way to keep us stuck on the news than making it all seem hopeless. No sense doing the hard work to make the world better when we can go back to bed and doom scroll all day.

But Marko! How will you stay informed?

By getting up, going outside and talking to people. Looking them in the eye and asking what’s on their minds.

By joining a local community group, Covid or no Covid, and asking questions. (This one seems interesting.)

By doing my own research, especially with a local election campaign in progress. What do my candidates stand for? What do their parties stand for?

And by sharing what I’ve learned with others in my circles.

My guess is that I won’t miss anything important in the News. If I’m connected with people and it’s important, I’ll find out.

And most importantly, when I do learn of something that requires action, I’ll have the emotional energy to take those steps, rather than sinking back into the headlines.

I’ll keep you posted.