Digesting The News
Feeling weary, dragged down, and glum? Welcome to news fatigue. It’s a hard nugget to swallow.
News fatigue comes from the bombardment of what has become a 24/7 cycle, complicated by the challenge of sorting mis- and disinformation from factual reporting. E-mail blasts, news alerts, “newsy” blogs, online news sites from recognized and mysterious sources and more add to the noise that makes one want to scream “Stop!” — just when we should not.
Focusing on local news primarily, along with state and national news of value to our readers, keeps this newspaper away from a lot of the squawking that fills holes in the news cycle from dusk to dawn. Nonetheless, we realize that there are times when even local news has felt relentless in coverage, the endless needs to be met for the benefit of the majority colliding with the sensitivities of the rest of our population. It is inevitable that news can feel draining at times.
What is worrisome, is when news at all levels begins to feel draining all of the time.
It is chilling to hear someone profess to having stopped listening to or reading news. No television, no newspapers, no digital sources of any kind, any time. It is the literary version of a hermit. With social interaction limited, as we are currently directed to do, the choice to shut oneself off from vital news may add to, rather than alleviate, anxiety. To purposely choose to forego knowledge of what is going on in the town, state, country, world is to choose ignorance. And ignorance allows rumor to take hold when facts are most needed.
When news becomes a tiresome chore, behavior for the good of the whole is not properly undertaken, and questionable actions are not held accountable. Shunning knowledge — on the local, state, or national level — of recommendations in light of the current pandemic can undermine a unified effort necessary to move us forward.
What can be done? Select news you trust, and monitor your news habits so that they are manageable. Find the venues that provide needed news in a manner that does not wear you out. Cut down on — but do not cut out — news consumption.
What we, in the business of news, will do is to continue to present news in a straightforward manner, focus on the good as well as the troublesome, balance need to know with relevant material; and create an aura of trust that makes reading the news more of a homecoming than homework.
Being knowledgeable by staying up to date on local and world events is crucial to the safety of all. To let news wear one down to the point that it is shut off is a dangerous thing.
So, take small bites of big news; chew thoroughly and thoughtfully. Swallow it whole and digest it as best you can. Then, take another bite. There is much to be savored along with that which is sour.