I’ve been musing a lot lately about this post by Dave Pollard wherein he asks what the role of media is and then proposes a manifesto for news you can use.
I was thinking this evening about why people even bother with mainstream news media. I see very little TV, mostly just watching sports in hotel rooms when I’m on the road. I hardly ever watch TV news – only by accident. I guess deep down I believe in Pollard’s first principle about the news:
To which I would add Corrigan’s corollary:
“If a news item is not actionable by the individual, it should not be consumed by the individual.”
TV news is the antithesis of actionable: it is disempowering and encourages the disenfranchisement of citizenship and responsibility. I have even given up reading newspapers except for the op ed pages and the letters section of the Globe and Mail, the Vancouver Sun, the National Post or whatever other rag is lying around my local coffee shop..
I get my news mostly from CBC Radio and from the 100 or so blog subscriptions I keep up with. I find that this is truly news I can use. If I read something on a blog I can choose to comment or contact the author and learn more. In rare cases, we end up working together (as in the case of the Giving Conference which was hatched somewhere deep in the comments section of Wealth Bondage). It’s a satisfying way to learn about the world because I am learning from people who are doing something, and who, by the very fact of their weblogs, are inviting me to join them.
So my question for you mass consumers of mass media, is why do you do it? Why do still watch TV news?
I’m honestly curious…