Should we bother to read the news?

(Lucas Weeks) #1

New Warhorn Media post by Lucas Weeks:

(b3k) #2

I had always been a news junkie. When I say always: back in elementary school, I won some kind of prize for acing a quiz on news from the preceding year. But, these days, I only follow limited tech news and some trusted bloggers.

What broke me of news fascination was two things. The first was reading news articles on subjects that I knew something about. I realized that if journalists were incompetent in the domains where I could check their work, they were likely incompetent elsewhere. The second was a pastor who told me he didn’t read the news, because it was all gossip and gossip is a sin.

Later, when learning more about the history of intellectual property, I realized that all mass media has always been partisan propaganda from one party or another. After all, who was paying for the content? Unbiased, or even non-partisan journalism is a 20th Century myth. The best you can get for information about the kinds of things the news media cover is an independent journalist who is open about his perspective and who is too stubborn to lie for free.

(Caleb Starr) #3

I’ve always been interested in the news. Part of it has to do with my innate desire to know “stuff”. Ever since I was small, I’ve read everything I could get my hands on to acquire more knowledge. I have come to see in recent years that this is not a healthy desire. It is easy for me to feel superior to others because I simply know more about some topic than they do. It feeds my pride. When I read “Amusing Ourselves to Death” several years ago it opened up for me how the medium influences the message. Of course this is blatantly obvious for news on TV but it is also relevant to print news or e-news sources. So much news is available to us for any and everything around the world. Most of it has absolutely no bearing on our lives. I have tried, with little success, to avoid reading news stories related to crazy world events that don’t impact my life. Perhaps it’s the circles I run in or more likely, it’s just my personality, but I can’t seem to get away from the news.

(Lucas Weeks) #4

I’m very sympathetic to your interest in the news, @cameroonstarr. I remember being introduced to the Economist by one of my teachers. I thought I was big stuff for reading it, and I ate it up. He’s also the teacher that introduced me to the Model United Nations, and I went on to participate in MUN during high school and some in college. I got a degree in International Studies, and being a political/international news junkie seems to be par for the course in that field. It’s especially nice to be able to look down on those who don’t know anything about the internal politics of Kenya or Tajikistan.

Like you, I think Postman cured me of a lot of that.

(Matthew Hoover) #5

Similar to @b3k’s comment about gossip, I have wondered whether Proverbs 17:4 means we ought to just tune out for good.

An evildoer listens to wicked lips;
A liar pays attention to a destructive tongue.

That doesn’t have anything to do with news per se, just with the people who have got themselves in position to carry it to us today. I think it’s undeniable that they’re always lying to us, either flat out directly or indirectly though omission, how they select stories or the facts pertinent to a story, etc. I remember Pastor Bayly writing that the Donald Trump era taught us that they’re always lying. The original article said it well too, about 22 year olds with no life experience telling us what to be outraged about.

I haven’t entirely tuned out the news media because of this verse. I assume that it’s not a sin to be lied to; it’s a sin to open up my ears eagerly to hear lies. I do consume very little national news because I am tempted by anxiety that gives rise to anger. Local news is a little better because I can glean facts that actually pertain to my life and responsibilities or sometimes read about people I know.

And along those lines, I think there are men who should avoid news altogether because the lies and manipulation are a danger to their souls, either because it triggers their anger or distracts them from repentance and responsibility.

(Scott Tibbs) #6

I think we do need to keep track of what is going on around us so we can be salt and light. Christians have had an enormous opportunity to speak to the evils of abortion over the last couple weeks because of watching the legislation passed in New York and proposed in Virginia. And of course, we should know what is going on in our own community, from the drag queen story time at the public library to local government giving money to Planned Parenthood.

(Lucas Weeks) #7

What is the best way to know what is going on locally? And I don’t mind paying for the privilege…

In our case I know there is the HT. But I’d it even worth it? And is there anything else?

(Scott Tibbs) #8

You can keep up with local government by checking agendas. and both have links to the council and commissioners. Sometimes stuff slips through that isn’t covered by the paper, so checking directly will let you see what is coming.