Friday, April 29, 2011

News of News

I'll be the first to admit I hated reading or watching the news as a teenager.  Unless the national media event was something that directly impacted me--and we're talking natural disaster or worse, I couldn't have cared less about what Tom Brokaw or Charlie Gibson or Peter Jennings were blathering.  On the other hand, I was deeply interested in the Mickey Mouse Club and Kids, Inc. and Star Trek (don't ask me why on that last one).

As I've grown and started wondering about this little marble in space on which I live, I've begun tuning in to the news more and more.  During down time at work, I turn to news as my first choice.  During commercials while watching TV, I often check the news stations.  Bored in general?  Maybe I'll read the news.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not checking the Dow or following a particular story or wondering whether eggs are going to kill me today or not.  I don't watch CNN or Fox News (the horror!) or even MSNBC.  If I have to suffer through watching the news, I try to stay with local channels.  KATU or KOIN, maybe KEZI, and the ever-so-rare PBS.  I don't follow any particular radio host.  I don't necessarily read one newspaper over another (although the Albany Democrat-Herald knocks the pants off the Corvallis Gazette-Times even though they're owned by the same people and often report the same news).  In essence, I don't discriminate against news sources.  I try to gather a variety of sources on each side of the issue and read whatever I can find.

Sometimes I'll follow a story very closely.  I was familiar with the entire Elizabeth Smart trial.  Against my better judgment and attempts to avoid the story, I'm unfortunately familiar with that idiot Sheen guy right now.  I follow health stories and science/technology stories at length.  Sports?  Not a chance.  Business news?  Not if I can help it.  World news goes up and down for me: sometimes I just don't want to read about who is fighting what war right now.  And celebrity gossip?  Puhleez.  I have better things to read.

After a discussion with a coworker this morning, apparently (she thinks) it's highly unusual for someone my age to be so active in pursuing news.  It's unusual for someone my age to want to be knowledgeable about the world around us.  I'm not sure if her opinion holds any truth, but I shudder to think I'm alone in my pursuit of knowledge.  Bring on the news!

But please, for the love of newsprint everywhere, can we keep the media frenzies to a minimum?  Nobody really needs to know how many needles were used or how often they were changed in the creation of a certain royal wedding dress.  C'mon, really?

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