Friday, April 24, 2009

Local News

I dislike watching the news for a lot of reasons, the biggest being it is pretty depressing. Hearing about a shoot out, that jobs are so scarce that more than 800 people applied for one janitorial position, that the city plans on buying thousands of boarded up houses to tear them down, that many churches are being closed, that even though nationally there might be a shortage of nurses locally there isn't, that the hospitals are having a hiring freeze and are thinking about offering early retirement and lay offs, etc.

I rarely watch local news anymore preferring to get the news from the internet. Here are some reasons I prefer internet news to televised news:

* The televised news spends a considerable amount of time talking about sports and entertainment, which I am not interested in. If I was I would watch programs devoted to them.
* It takes less time to read the news on the internet than to watch it and the advertised news item is usually put near the end of the broadcast.
* The channels have a tendency to copy stories from one another. For example, I saw a news story about how dirty hotel rooms are on four different channels. -For those wondering, they are very dirty with things like using window cleaner to clean drinking cups, only changing large comforters if they are visibly dirty, and a large number of germs everywhere.
* They do not provide enough contextual data (though this is an annoyance I have with internet news as well). The news will give information of the nature, the budget for something was cut by xx amount of dollars, but they do not tell you if that amount is a large percent or if it will make a difference. If they use percents, they'll say something like there was a 50% increase. Is that a large increase, beyond expected? Will that make a difference? Was a 300% increase needed for the business to remain solvent? et cetra
* The local news treat things that are of little danger as if they were massively dangerous to try and scare you/draw you in.
* The news does not provide enough follow through, no where near enough. Occasionally there will be an interesting or important story and then not return to it with updates or even tell where additional information on it could be found (the internet does this as well but more often than televised news will also provide a link to further information).
* The news is biased, particularly local news. They pick and chose what to tell. One example being protests. They recently reported on the protests against taxes. This is protested every year but not usually reported. Protest wise they are not even very big more people protest war, unfair labor practices, and abortion than do taxes and those protests usually do not make the news. Well some interent news sites are also biased, it is easier to weed out the biases on the internet or find a less biased site.
*Many things that I feel should have made the news do not make the news (at least the local news and often don't make the national). One example being in India recently over 1,500 farmers committed suicide because they were getting in deeper and deeper debt because of a lack of water for their crops. For another example, almost everything involving the war/s the United States is currently fighting.
* The internet gives me access to more news outlets, particularly overseas ones. I find out more things happening in my country from foreign news sources like the BBC than I do ones from my country.
* The internet gives me the news much faster. For example, the local news recently aired a story on how some places in England are using high pitched sounds outside the range of most adults to prevent loitering (as people age they can hear less frequencies, though some people past twenty can still hear those ranges, like me - the device makes a high pitched pulsing noise at 17 kilohertz). I read about this well over a year ago, the internet also told about how some teens are using that noise as a ring tone - so as to get messages in places that cell phones are not allowed like classrooms, and that the company that made it to prevent teen loitering is now making one that everyone can hear to keep undesirables out of subways and underpasses.

1 comment:

MZephyr said...

I couldn't have begun to write a post like this, because I wouldn't have had examples to cite. I've simply never watched televised news, except for the rare ongoing current event like the 9/11 attack.