For the past two years, I have not watched television news. Yes, that’s right. In the fall of 2017, I made a conscious decision to stop watching television news. I have totally (and happily, I might add) substituted television news with newspaper media. Eliminating television news has improved my life and is something I highly recommend to all of my friends and family.
As a former TV news junkie, my new found love for newspapers has come as a shock to my family and friends. At my peak, I was watching two to three hours of TV news every day. From a young age, I’ve always enjoyed being informed of events taking place both domestically and internationally. I’ve always been fascinated by the idea that although you may not be physically present, you can still know and have an understanding about events taking place anywhere around the world.
Two years ago, in an effort to expand my sources of information beyond TV news, I began reading The Wall Street Journal and The National Post every day. I can now say with confidence that after two years of religiously reading newspapers, I will never watch TV news again.
In my opinion, TV news’ greatest shortfalls lie in its poor quality and heavy tilt towards sensationalism. The time constraints placed on TV news programs are the most likely culprits for why TV news is being driven into the ground. With tight time limits, TV news stories normally have shallow depth and only offer the bare minimum facts. Even worse, when expert guests are invited to provide analysis they are often interrupted by the host trying to squeeze in as many questions within the short time limit. This archaic form of interviewing is extraordinarily inferior to long form talk shows like podcasts (which have seen an exponential rise in popularity in recent years).
I, for one, find that newspaper articles provide more coverage and depth for each story covered. Moreover, when the author of an article provides an opinion, it is obligatory that they provide further background information and analysis to flesh out their arguments. I certainly walk away with more knowledge and understanding of a particular situation or event after reading a newspaper article than a one-minute news segment.
Finally, the most important reason why I have permanently ditched TV news for newspapers is the ever present sensationalism that dominates TV news. With TV news’ continuing spiral into oblivion, they now solely rely on shock-value to attract or maintain viewership.
I could no longer stand TV news’ deliberate and obvious attempts to rile me up with anger and resentment. I believe my mental health was suffering because of it. I don’t think I’m only speaking for myself when I say I was often restless, anxious, and frustrated after watching the news. However, in comparison with TV news, my emotions are always stable when I read newspaper articles. I believe that reading the news demands one be more analytical than emotional as the information is presented.
No matter how you consume the news, I recommend that you seriously give newspapers a try—in comparison with TV news, it drastically offers more information, depth, and analysis with a palatable degree of sensationalism.