Good News/Bad News

Whether you’re Republican, Democrat, or Independent, political news is not, at best, informative. Generally, it’s a rehash of what one side is saying about the other. It’s disgusting when one party or person is trashed for their viewpoints or their personal lives. Social media is particularly harsh. News that gets shown is what sells, that which is loathing or built around horror or sadness. There’s just got to be something out there in the news department that isn’t so shocking it makes me gag, or so boring I instantly tune into old Seinfeld or Big Bang re-runs.

At the other extreme are those “good news” agencies with silly cartoons that make me groan and roll my eyes or the animal memes and stories that have appeared a cabillion times on Facebook or Instagram for the last ten years. I must admit, I’ve even been one of the people reposting the cuter of the saccharine YouTube videos that appear again and again because I never see anything new or different.

I Want Something Different

How about giving me some interesting news or educational news? It’s pretty egotistical of us to think we see and know everything; there is nothing new to share. In this whole world? C’mon. You know there’s a ton of people, places, and things that most of us know nothing about. How about teaching me something that I might actually apply in my life – something that makes my life better, more fun, more informed, or something that makes me lol with its creativity? Now those are the news sources I’ll gladly follow and pay for.

Rather than just passing the same news bites around to all agencies, how about digging a little deeper to show me something different from all the others. You have an excellent opportunity to teach me, show me. However, I’m not reading past the first line if what you’re sharing is a repeat of everyone else.

Not intending to give a plug to one news agency or another, it’s been my experience the evening MSNBC news programs all share new and different perspectives around a similar subject. I always learn something new when I watch Chris Hayes or Rachel Maddow. I’m not sure, but it looks like they get together and agree to not repeat the same news. In particular, Rachel presents stories that don’t appear anywhere, either in print or on air, and I learn from her info. And I want more. Between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. everyday, when news segments galore appear, there’s ample opportunity for larger reporting, better reporting, more interesting and informative reporting. And I want this kind of reporting not just in the political world but in the cultural, artistic, and educational areas too!

Can you imagine, perhaps even recalling yourself, a time when news took a long time to arrive at your doorstep. Yes, there have always been in our lifetimes wire services that transmitted headline news fairly quickly but, if you didn’t have a TV or radio, which many homes didn’t in the 40’s and 50’s, you got the news when a neighbor who did have a TV rushed over to break a hot story or news item to you.

We’ve all gotten spoiled with having news delivered instantly. When someone dies, we know within a moment of it being released. When someone is elected, we know immediately. Okay, perhaps that isn’t a good example (lol).

If it can be fast, it can be better.

News is a Matter of Preference

Obviously, if you’re invested in money or the stock market, you want and expect news to be reported live. But if you’re like me, I’m willing to wait awhile to get news that was interesting and informative. I’m willing to wait while you fact check your piece to make sure it’s true and accurate. Having said that, I appreciate it sooner rather than later.

I want news about good books or movies or TV that is wildly entertaining or funny or educational. And I’m not afraid of the presenter’s opinion. If I respect the presenter, then I’m likely to be more interested in what they share.

There was a video that came out on Netflix called My Octopus Teacher, which was a documentary about a man who visited the sea every day for over a year and struck up a “relationship” with a tiny octopus. Normally, I wouldn’t rush out to watch such a video because it sounds a little unbelievable and perhaps even hinky. The person who recommended it to me, however, is a very well -read person whom I consider to be articulate, educated, and having a highly developed desire for all things that delight. For those reasons, I immediately queued it up and watched. What a delight indeed! I was thrilled by this true story that made me feel uplifted and forward facing in a most positive way.

My point isn’t that you should or shouldn’t watch this video, it’s that, given many options, you have more power to decide what you want and when you want it. You have the power to use news to make yourself feel better or bad. I wept at the end of My Octopus Teacher but it was a good cry and not a weepy cry from the disgusting drivel that is pandered each and every hour of every day on any multitude of venues.

Own It

You can use the news to lift you. Like listening to your favorite music, it can improve any day if it has the right content. Always remember:  you never have to get sucked into that which doesn’t serve you. “But, it’s important to be informed, so I have to pay attention to the news!” Nope, that’s just not true. It’s always a choice. You can learn about the news you need to know, through friends, family, or even one-liners that don’t require a longer read. And learning the important things this way won’t require zombie-like attention to commercial news watching.

I have an enormous passion for books and programs/movies/videos that are likely to leave me feeling positive and uplifted, and I’ve shared my favorites here and with friends and family. I’ve welcomed the recommendations of people I admire and/or people who share my approach to life.

What is your preference?

You’re absolutely allowed to stay stuck in that news place that dulls and depresses. I’m not judging as I can hang in that spot too every once in a while. Just don’t expect others who have little time to waste to join you. You have the choice to speak up and make it known what kind of news you want.

I’d love to hear your suggestions for places you visit online or via cable that enhance your life and make it richer and more uplifted and educational …. even when the news isn’t good.