There is probably nothing more depressing to me than watching the “news” on any given television network.
With the 24-hour news cycle, the definition of “news” seems to get more and more broad, and the value more and more diluted.
Just about every morning, I’ll ask my Amazon Echo for the news and receive a 5-minute audio snippet from NPR News. But outside of that, I really don’t seek out any news from a media network.
I still hear about “news” of course, whether the people in my Facebook feed are going nuts over a pregnant giraffe, or the mother of all bombs becomes a trending topic on Facebook, or I see a certain topic touched on in my Twitter feed.
But I curate my news by curating the people I surround myself with. When my information comes from a crowdsource of my social networks, I can pick and choose who I follow, who I subscribe to, and who I don’t see.
I also seek out information from people I know care and look deeply into topics. I ask them to explain things to me at a high level, but knowing that I am their audience and understanding what level of complexity I can handle in a short period of time.
I choose what information I pull, and who I pull it from – I don’t let it be pushed to me. My news runs on trust and social capital. And otherwise, I operate on a low information diet when it comes to “news.”
The real bummer about television network news is that it is optimized for ratings and viewership. Said in another way, they are giving society what we’ve proven with our actions that we want to see. Can you imagine if we organized and swung the pendulum the other way?