|October 25, 2001 > News | Arts | Sports | Opinions | Masthead|
News, news everywhere...and not a drop that makes me think
by Christine Hanson
It seems like there's just too much out there to read and watch on the war on terrorism. You could drown in all the articles there are out there on anthrax. The radio used to cover different stories, but now it's a steady stream of phone-in shows, news updates, and interviews with authorities on whatever branch of science they did research on that would shed some light on the story.
And it's the only story. It's the only story anyone who is anybody is writing about.
It's gotten to the point where the CNN is the Attack on America/War on Terrorism/anthrax network. It's not just a story. It's THE ONLY STORY IN TOWN. It's the be-all and end-all of the news outlets.
I'm not saying that the bombing in Afghanistan isn't important. It is important that we have access to reliable coverage of these events and that there are forums in which we can discuss the ramifications of Canada's role in the war. But there are important stories getting buried beneath the mountains of coverage of the "War on Terrorism."
The search for more and cheaper Cipro to treat everyone in North America for possible anthrax infection is timely, but there was a story deep inside the A section of the Globe and Mail (October 22/01) about the one billion smokers on earth who are in danger of dying from complications arising from smoking.
So what's a person to do if they want to be informed?
TV is great for getting important images around the world immediately, for getting everybody on the same page right now, for football games, car chases and showcasing celebrity pets. If you need to know who's getting blown up by who this very minute, you can get that by watching television.
It's what TV is for...watching. Nobody interacts or debates with their TV.
So what's a news consumer to do if they're concerned with the lack of variety in their media diet? Where can you go for help if you've overdosed on CNN's All-Anthrax, All-Day coverage?
In being a media watchdog, like most healthy lifestyle choices, balance and moderation are key. If TV is the only way to your heart and head, then you should make sure that it comes from more than one network. For those with more adventurous tastes, magazines can offer up some fortifying dissenting views.
A quick search on the Internet for independant media sources can turn up a plethora of alt(something).org websites.
And, for Pete's sake, find something to read that makes you laugh. I read this great piece on how to deal with stress in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks and it said that laughter is better for your heart than 15 minutes on the treadmill. Try it and see if it works!