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What Do I Miss by Not Watching the Network News and Local News on TV©
I stopped watching the news on TV in the spring of 2004. To my surprise, I do not feel that I have missed anything by not watching any of the news broadcasts on the local three TV stations. Does that statement surprise you? I stopped watching the news, because I was tired of the political advertisements, the political “news,” and the way one TV station promoted its 11:00 p.m. news program.
Early in the evening, the TV station would build up a “special” report about a topic that would be presented at the 11:00 news broadcast. The topic would have a good appeal to the average viewer. I found that the topic typically would be presented at the end of the 11:00 p.m. broadcast. The hype about the topic was far greater than the actual “news.” It was not worth staying up till 11:25 p.m. to hear the “special report.” I started thinking about the other TV stations’ news broadcasts and found that they were of not much value to me. The news would be exciting if I heard the name of a person I knew had been arrested or had a winning lottery ticket which either has happened. It is not exciting to me to hear news about cities on the other side of the country. I ended up not watching and listening to the local and national news programs on TV.
I admit that I do, at special times, look to the TV stations for news such as special weather reports about snow, hurricanes, storm type weather, etc. What I found is that if there is going to be problem weather, I can typically get weather reports during the TV station’s on-the-hour or half-hour time slot. I often ignore the official news program’s weather segments.
I do miss not getting to see the reporters being out in a heavy snow storm, in a driving rain storm, heavy wind, etc. while explaining how dangerous it is to be out in the weather. If it is that dangerous, why are they out in the weather. Does the reporter have a death wish? Does the TV station manager have little concern about the reporter’s safety? I am waiting to see a smart news lady standing outside in the blowing snow and get hit by the snow thrown from a snow plow.
I do not think I am equipt with special intelligence, but I know there are some things you do not do if you can help it. You do not get into or drive in fast moving water. You do not stand unprotected in strong wind that is blowing things down the street such as business signs, trash can lids, garbage from the trash can, siding off buildings, stop lights, etc. You do not spend time out in heavy snowing weather with a little hooded coat that looks like it is fur trimmed, because the wind plus the snow can make the skin very cold and freeze. I always hope the reporters are smarter than they act. If they are not, why should I listen to them?
I do not have cable access to TV programs so I do not have to deal with the 24 news networks over saturating a simple new story to the point that the overkill of the story will makes a viewer turn to another channel. Watching some of the cable news networks, when visiting my parents, taught me about the overkill of news by the networks in order to fill up 24 broadcasting hours.
I think getting up late so I can’t sit and watch the morning TV news programs are a benefit to me. I have to get going so I can get to work on time so the TV is not turned on. I think people that spend lots of time watching TV news programs are missing a cracker from their cracker, onion, and cheese sandwich.
I have seen funny things on TV which includes Ed Ames demonstrating his skill at throwing a tomahawk on the Tonight Show and US congress representatives and senators demonstrating their lack of having a common sense knowledge base by talking. One funny experience is a reporter sitting in a canoe talking about the danger of being out in the water and the weather. From what I remember, the water looked like it was flowing “fast” by the canoe. While the reporter was sharing the danger of being out in the weather, two repairmen in waders and short sleeved shirts walked between the reporter in the canoe and the camera. The repairmen were brave, because they did not show any concern about the danger that flowed around them. The men must have had strong legs which enabled them to walk through fast flowing knee-deep water. I guess the repairmen were dedicated and focused on fixing problems that they did not realize they were in danger. I wondered if the reporter or producer realized the humor created by the repairman nonchalantly walking in the water while doing their work
You may be wondering from where do I get information about my local communities and other places of interest. I listen to some radio programs, read newspaper headlines, and view a couple of internet web sites.
I very seldom watch a TV News Magazine program. If I am tired, a TV News Magazine program is a good sleeping pill. To my surprise, I often watch the Antique Road Show. I think the Antique Road Show has more education, entertainment, and suspense than most TV shows including reality shows. It is a family oriented TV program. YEA!
I often have a radio turned on while I am working. I used to listen to music on the radio. Changes made to the programing of AM radio that has grown talk radio shows made me purchase CDs that contain music from the 40s through 70s. The top 40 style and current country music on FM radio is in my opinion as musically entertaining as a truck load of pigs colliding with a truck loaded with empty metal trash cans. Sometimes my memory is not as sharp as I would like, but I still remember my reaction the first time I heard the music of a pigs and trash cans at feeding time.
I like talk radio, because it is entertaining to me. I get to hear different perspectives. Of course the talk radio hosts have their personal perspectives. Some of the perspectives of the talk show hosts are ones with which I agree and do not agree. When a talk show host gets boring or is not entertaining, I turn off the radio and put on a music or comedy CD.
The radio news on the hour and half hour can get boring, because they often are the same. There is a reason for this, but for a person listening to a radio station for a couple of hours can get tired of the duplication. I often do not pay attention to what is being said because of the concentration I have to use to do my work. Key words that are of interest to me when heard will cause me to stop and listen to what is being said.
I get some of my news from the daily newspaper. I scan the headlines to find something I am interested in reading. I often do not read beyond the first few paragraphs. When I hit words that are expressing an opinion by the writer, I stop reading the article. I call this speed reading. There are times I do not finish the first paragraph.
To me the value of the newspaper is in its insert advertisements, non professional sports, and sometimes the editorial pages. I used to enjoy the comics. Now I just look for the cartoon, Plugger.
I get most of my weather news from internet web sites and national news from internet web sites. I have been surprised at how I can use the Drudge Report to stay up to date with national news and understand the news. I have heard that the Drudge Report is considered by some news people to be poor level reporting of the news. This puzzles me since most of what is on the report are links to pages that have articles that other people have written.
I guess my comments will in the future be used against me if I apply for a position of writing a column for a newspaper or a reporter for a TV station or a radio station.
A former resident of Pot Neck, Tennessee
Date article last modified, September 9, 2010
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