Happy New Year!
And Happy News Year?
I hardly watched the news yesterday and I noticed how much calmer I felt. Maybe I was also affected by my runny nose and the desire to relax because my body said so. I had a rather anti-social New Year’s Eve and I loved it.
News watching has been a habit from childhood. My father would watch the ten o’clock news every single night and then go to sleep. Like clockwork.
Every morning he would read the newspaper. Like clockwork.
Newsweek, Time and Life magazines plus the daily newspaper, and watching the news were my predominant news sources growing up. That’s before the days of cell phones and the Internet.
My current habit is to surf the web a few minutes in the morning and see what’s in the headlines.
I remember sitting in on a news reporting class in the journalism department of a local community college. The professor said what’s news is what’s reported. And think about it, think about what gets reported because reporters want to go there.
Maybe that’s why famines don’t get as much coverage as a story about a baby seal biting a swimmer in San Francisco.
This concept has stuck with me and has made me more interested in finding news through bloggers and resources other than mainstream reporting services.
However, I have a desire this new year to cut back on watching the news.
Instead of spending that half hour being teased to stay tuned to hear the latest devastation and “breaking” news, including the most dramatic videos that might tantalize my eyeballs for 9 to 900 nanoseconds, I’m ready to begin a new habit.
I’m willing to try any number of experiments. This new year I’ll start with going regularly to a website I heard about in journalism class with Jon Rochmis at City College of San Francisco.
On this site you can read the front pages of hundreds of different newspapers (779 today)!
This is like finding a fresh water lake in the desert!
I am fascinated by the differences in foci of the various publications and what they choose to report.
Within five minutes of reading I can be more informed than five minutes of news watching. Here you can see what’s making headlines from Austin, Texas to Montevideo, Uruguay to Khartoum, Sudan!
The list of papers available at Newseum.org is here: http://www.newseum.org/todaysfrontpages/?tfp_display=list
To really bliss out on newspaper headlines go to Today’s Front Pages at Newseum.org at: http://www.newseum.org/todaysfrontpages/
Today, I just glanced at the front page of the Modesto Bee, and a new law going into effect January 1 2018 in California that prohibits the legality of any potential employer requiring the disclosure of what their wages were at a previous job. An applicant can provide it voluntarily though. Once a job offer has been made, however, the prospective employer is allowed to do a background check. (Wow, in just half a minute’s glance at this front page I learned something helpful!)
I’m excited about this new year and the challenge to shift the use of this thirty minute slot.
I’m eager to transform an old habit.
And I’m open and receptive to having a miraculous year.
I wish that for you too and may you find news that fuels your needs!
P.S. When viewing one front page (at Newseum.org) you can scroll to the next one or go to the previous front page by using the prompts in the upper right corner.