Three articles to read and 30 minutes of television to watch a day. That is the limit I give myself to consume hardcore news; anything that relates to the current state of the world, the nation, or my hometown. I read other articles solely for my intellectual curiosity or need of a new recipe.
Even though I write for a student news publication and scour sources for articles, keep myself updated with current events for the sake of keeping the opinion section alive, this can be overwhelming. I succumb to moments when the news is too “depressing” or “scary” to read or watch.
Amidst the escalating death toll for COVID-19, and unanswered questions, I urge you to stay informed to find the hope that lies under all of these layers of disinfectant and masks. These contagion fables that we let one source from the six o’clock news tell us should not create immediate hysteria. In addition to the poorly chosen words of President Trump, this should not create a platform for xenophobia.
Journalism is not meant to sugarcoat anything, but it is also not meant to offend. It is not meant to extract oftentimes unhappy news for the sake of making others feel guilty or hopeless. Journalism illuminates the reality that we live in with the momentum to spark action for change.
However, action should not be taken out of ignorance. While it is important to watch the news, you can also read news on social media, which provides many outlets for rants and inaccuracies. Maintain what you have and get both sides of a perspective and keep an open mind to what you may not know.
I stay informed in order to observe what everyone else thinks of the world. Every phase of one’s life has a different need for information, and these can be affected by varying categories of news. Right now, more than ever, individuals are interested in action taken by our federal government for the economy, or the world of science in order to find a proper treatment for COVID-19.
While many people are fine with venting online and without a filter, they are also not okay with being countered with evidence and facts. Good journalism, one that seeks to inform for the protection of others, should not be filtered by another’s belief system.
While I choose not to consume too much media on social media or The New York Times and Washington Post, I listen in for 30 minutes a day to The New York Times “The Daily” podcast. If you need something more lighthearted, read the Humans of New York page on various social media platforms. Every day, especially now with more people sharing stories in self-quarantine, reading those stories pushes people to help and donate and reach out.
We connect with words, pictures, and videos. We realize that there is more than just ourselves and we try to sympathize. Don’t give up on finding the truth, even if you have to find it and reveal it for yourself.