Why I stopped watching the news

Watching the news has been part of my life from a young lad.  I didn’t really remember the news when I was young, but remember it being pretty boring.  Later we sort of fell into the habit of watching the news and having dinner at the same time. 

I don’t know when things started to change.  News readers started to become more informal.  We started hearing stories about their lives.  Pictures of them in magazines (before social media).  Then they became celebrities in their own right.  Marriages, divorces, babies, careers, whatever… they became the part of the news.

As an aside, we follow America in many ways, so look at what these newsreaders earn.

Top 10 News Anchors in World 

I’ve noticed over the years how news stations, not only in NZ, began to not simply report the news or even give their own interpretation.  They now dictat the story we hear.  But even more than that, they said what they thought (and what we should think) what was right or wrong.  There is always a particular viewpoint they are backing and they wanted us to agree.

Perhaps this started when news became more focused on commercial success rather than just telling the news.  Whoever had the loudest voice or the deepest pockets got air-time.  Those who supported a particular seen in a positive light.  While those against were “enemies of the state”.

Think of Covid and the story we got told every night.  The message was so loud and adamant that any conflicting view was seen as extremists.  Today, think of the environment.  Almost every single news event is only a sentence away from being caused by climate change.

The amount of money being spent on addressing climate issues would probably fund all the education, health and infrastructure needs.  In truth, New Zealand isn’t going to make any difference to global climate change.  99% of the world doesn’t care what we do or even think about us.  We are less than 1% of any cause or effect of climate change.  So anything we (the government) says we are doing is just talk.  Unfortunately this talk is often at the expense of the tax payer or our biggest earners – farmers.

So I just couldn’t take it anymore.  I stopped watching the news and guess what?  I didn’t miss it at all.  I have the internet if I want to see any news.  But more importantly I can avoid the click-bait inane stories that bombard life.  The doom and gloom they revelled in no longer affected my thoughts.  Their obsession with the negative has lost its appeal.  I don’t need it in my life.

Life is simpler and happier without the daily news coming into our home. I don’t miss the readers who think they are sometimes bigger than the news.  I don’t miss the message they are consistently hammering home.  I don’t need them to tell me what or how to think.  Plus I get to chose the stories I want to read about.

Dougal Stevenson was just 26 when he read the first national news bulletin.
What can forget Dougal?

The media has gone through incredible changes with the internet evolution.  There are so many voices vying for eyes and ears.  I hope it will realise that it won’t be entertainment or extreme stories that will save them.  I hope they will be able to find their way back to their roots.  As Detective Sergeant Joe Friday, who is often quoted as saying “Just the Facts, Ma’am”.  We don’t need your opinion or embellishment.  We can think for ourselves (we’ll most of us).