Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Bad News Blues

Never mind the fact that I’m currently a news writer, I think I’ve reached an age where I hold a certain responsibility to be up to date on current events.

When I can and when my schedule permits, I still enjoy watching “AC360” and “Larry King Live” on CNN, but I must admit that I haven’t picked up the Inquirer in a couple of weeks.

As much as I hate being ignorant, I can’t help but feel like I’m empowering the depressing news printed on broadsheets—front pages splashed with hypocrisy, scandal, and pessimism. It’s like you get sucked into the whirlwind of problems prevalent in society. It’s tiring. It’s frustrating.

An unpopular president saying the nation is “improving.” We’ve all heard that one before. A former member of a first family exchanging words with a first gentleman he’s trying to take down. Please—I might as well watch primetime soap operas.

One of the sites in my Favorites list is that of the New York Times. Shiite versus Sunnis. What’s new? McCain and a Clinton. We’ve been down that road before. Even a “rock star” political figure like Obama bores me more than entices me to watch “real” democracy at work.

Many believe that news perpetuates negativity and that there should be more media focus on the good in the world. I’ll have to disagree, for I think journalist should be, in a way, the “unofficial opposition” of what’s out there, forever questioning validity and righteousness.

In the end, I can’t agree that “hiding” the bad behind the good would help society. It becomes too easy to cross the line between perpetuating optimism and flat-out denial. That being said, the news is rarely something that elicits excitement, more often becoming reason to feel even more down.

We should all be up to date with what’s going on so that we can help right the wrongs we witness and live through. But while I’m still not in the mood, I’ll just skip to the sports pages.


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