I do not believe in making “new year” resolutions. I do not celebrate the ushering in of a new year until spring. Yet with this taxation year coming to an end there are some changes I am focusing on, and have been focusing on, for a few weeks now.
My “second mum” told me over the holidays that there are certain things she no longer reads in the paper: crime; racially-biased or based stories; anything involving child abuse; and there was another one but I forgot what it was. All because very very few “journalists” report facts. We get it. Your newspaper/media franchise needs to sell copy. You’re a business like any other. And as consumers, we don’t have to buy a damned thing.
Therefore. I am making or have made the following changes with regard to media over the past few months, in an attempt to not have to suffer through so much insufferable twaddle:
1) I no longer consume US-style “news”. It is at best fear mongering tripe and at worst partisan politics masquerading as community concern/involvement. This includes talk shows, opinion panels, talking heads, and blowhards.
2) I no longer watch cable or network television. When I find a programme I enjoy, I purchase it or live stream it.
3) I am not interested in public religious debate. I don’t care what you think of Muslims or atheists or Christians or Indigenous spiritualism. The minute someone posts something about this I just walk away. It always causes more problems than it solves.
4) I will not and do not entertain pretentious bigotry masquerading as nationalism.
5) if a reporter asks “how do you feel about…” I turn the channel or the page. I don’t consume news because I want to know how people feel. I consume news because I want to know facts. I do fact check with multiple sources from different political franchises. Good reporting makes it utterly unnecessary to report on peoples’ feelings. If you do your job right as a reporter or as a journalist, your audience will figure out how people feel pretty damned quick.
6) I assume every athlete being interviewed is being asked about either masturbation or shower sex. This makes sports interviews bearable.
7) 90% of what people on social needia have to say is based on nothing but knee jerk reactions (myself included).
8) I never read the comments (unless they’re comments on my blog).
9) Nobody has to respect your opinion, nor mine. Respect must be earned. Whoever started teaching is that we have to respect one anothers’ opinions was just wrong. Listen to and endeavour to understand? Sure. I respect your right to HAVE and to STATE your opinion.
10) I refuse to consume “live coverage” of anything except Riders games. Nobody needs minute-by-minute reporting on a house fire, a tsunami, or a riot. That isn’t reporting; it’s voyeurism.
And strangely, I don’t feel out of touch or uninformed until someone asks me what I think of Lurleen’s latest music video or that movie with those guys who stole some fruit.