News junkie no more

I used to be a voracious news junkie. That stopped years ago, starting gradually at around the time of the introduction of the 24-hour news cycle, before which a half-hour in the evening seemed sufficient to most. In between those extremes, it got better all too briefly with one hour late at night on NBC News Overnight. That, it turned out, was precisely enough.

The incessant – and initially inconsequential – padding that news organisations have had to come up with day after day to fill every 24-hour period has since taken over nearly completely, at first in television and now in most media. It’s not a surprise because it’s so much cheaper and easier to produce than anything of substance, and people do love a dust-up – even a made-up dust-up.

In the end, it’s as pointless as making a crossing guard work all day and all night because the crosswalk is there all the time even if people aren’t. Bored at first in the middle of the night, they’d perhaps start reflexively directing traffic that’s not there while motioning to unseen pedestrians to hurry along, and before you know it, they’ve gone a little funny in the head. You know, just a little…funny.

“…and, uh, he went and did a silly thing.”

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2 thoughts on “News junkie no more

  1. parislights says:

    Hey yeah ! Certainly agree with you Lalo!

    Ever read Alain de Boton’s writing on news as an addiction ? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4aAJrJB6h0
    this is basically a talk summarizing his book “News . A Users Manual” .

    he calls your current status “the North Korea option” !

    Bon. this vid of his is a few years old but think there is still some good stuff. And he has a good sense of humour. In short supply 2017.

    Wonder if he ever did a longer doc for the BBC ? Ah those were the days !
    -p

  2. lalmon says:

    I hadn’t heard of him, but I like him and wish to subscribe to his newsletter.

    He’s done a fair amount of TV, some for Channel 4 and some for WGBH Boston, and much of it is on YouTube. He’s linked to them on his TV/Audio page here: http://alaindebotton.com/tv-audio/

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