Create Your Own News

When I was in high school, I learned to watch the nightly news. Every night, I'd turn on the news and watch what was going on. I quickly learned that all the news really focused on was negative thinking and fear tactics. Disasters, deaths, sickness, financial sadness was all they showed. Wednesdays always bore the special interest pieces on children or animals. But these were shown only after all the "headline" news.

I stopped reading and watching the news because of how it affected me. It's depressing. And I find this statement to be true even now, with war going on around the world. When I need to know what's going on, I use newsfeeds like or where I can pick and choose what stories I read. Instead, I allow my life and the events in it to become my own news.

I dare you all to stop watching/reading the news for 2 weeks. Instead, allow you and your family's life become the news. Use this time to connect with your family and friends and find out what's going on in their worlds. What daily things did they achieve, what's on their minds, and what are their most pressing issues. Or keep a list of all that's going on around you in your notebooks. If you're feeling artistic, create your own mock newspaper clipping. Then paste this into your notebook or send it to friends to let them know what's news in your world.

Don't let the news of today get you down. Retaliate by going back to your local roots. Look around you and make your own news with your eyes.

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I know what you mean!

The other day, some talking head said that the only news from Iraq was that there was no news, and clarified it by saying no shootings or bombings or such--so, that's the only news there is??? And since then, we have been hearing horrible reports at how taxi drivers are having to actually work for a living instead of waiting outside the morgues, and the morgues are losing money! Even good news is getting a bad spin!!! Go figure!

But your idea has good merit. Our family is kind of isolated geographically and linguistically from western media, and I think that this has been a healthy thing for us. (I'm the only one who follows all the news at all) I think I shall try your idea, and let the kids do something. They love writing anyway. ;-)


I agree!! I too get

I agree!!

I too get depressed listening to all the negative. We haven't had a television for years and I pick and choose what I want to read on the internet and what videos we watch. My children learned to read well at a young age and are real thinkers. They are able to form their own opinions about things because of learning that are more ways than one to obtain the information they need or want to find.

I assist in a class at our county jail for women and part of one session is the influence the media has on people. We have the women keep a diary/log for the following week of how many negative things they see on TV and how many positive. It is very enlightening to them.

I don't think listening to the radio is much better - I love to listen to baseball! :0), but again I pick and choose. I have, on occasion, "fasted" a few days from all forms of media and wasn't surprised to find I didn't miss much. I think above all else - it is so repetitive and can be such a time waster. I mean how many ways can you report the same story. The time could be better spent with friends and family.

Love the link

I am surprised you did not use the utility for a block of your article text and paste in the image.
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

yanno... i never thought of

yanno... i never thought of that. :)

it's been a crazy these past 3 weeks here.

Pretty self-absorbed here

Our university where I work is failing financially and fighting for its life. Next Monday and Tuesday the administration is announcing all the personnel cuts to expect for the next three years. So, if you get called in, your job is gone. It is nothing personal. They are just eliminating your position. Seniority allows you to bump other people. In a small community and small campus, this means you can bump friends and acquaintances...not a happy prospect. Those at the end of the line get thirty-days notice and unemployment. Needless to say, we are all sad and worried about the collective doom of it all. I have never seen people so down psychologically. The problem is also that we are in an isolated community so most folks who lose their positions will have to sell their homes and move out of the area as there is not work here outside this institution. I am getting a new Masters in December so was looking anyway for a new position but the timeline would be better if it were mine, not the administration's. I feel bad for all the innocent people who are suffering from previous mismanagement at the top and the extremely poor way that Oregon supports (not!) higher education. With no sales tax, there is so little revenue to pull from.

So, our news is not great now. Time will heal, I suppose, and maybe this fine university can turn itself around. This is nothing compared to losing your home in a fire, or having your homeland occupied and fearing for your life and health. I am ashamed to be so self-involved.

"To fly, we must have resistance."

Sporter -

I think you have a right to be "self-absorbed." You are worried about your future, and there is nothing wrong with that! Best of luck and keep us posted, okay?
nay nay

I concur... so did Henry David Thoreau

I read the Wall Street Journal daily -- they have a wonderful column on the front page that gives, in a sentence or two, the major events of the preceeding day. That way I am not ignorant of what is happening, but don't dwell on it either. The old journalism saying is "if it bleeds it leads" helps understand the prioritization of what is broadcast.

Henry David Thoreau tells the story of the effort being made in his lifetime to lay a cable accross the ocean -- and concludes by saying the first news to come accross will be that the queen has a cough.

The Passionate Pilgrim
-- Excellence through Simplicity

Actually, it is a TV news

Actually, it is a TV news saying, not journalism. There's a world of difference, and, at least at many community-based papers, family-owned papers, and now, even some corporate papers (due only to dwindling circulation), newspapers look at many other things, including "good" stuff for Page One.

Please, don't use "journalism" or "journalist" in the same context with "TV news."

Why not?

Please, don't use "journalism" or "journalist" in the same context with "TV news."

In the UK all TV News teams are staff by journalists; we long ago did away with the newsreaders. Most (all) of our broadcast journos have earned their spurs by working on local and national newspapers before progressing to local radio, local TV, national radio, national TV. So the context is the same. As least there is no difference between newspaper journalists and broadcast journalist except that the broadcast ones are less sensationalist and less concerned with immorality of non-entities.

i agree

I stopped following televised news years ago and have to say my life has been VERY happy as a result. My life is not perfect not by a long shot but the tv news adds such a dark cloud over everything. its distrubing.

i follow the news with the NYT and CNN and Forbes. at my own pace and with the stories that interest me and are worth, largely, the time it takes to read them.

instead i save time to be on cuteoverload, dailypuppy, and randomkittengenerator blogs.

Levenger stole ALL of my money, but they left me all these nice, shiny organizational tools.

I agree 100%. I have not

I agree 100%. I have not watched the news or read the paper in two years. Because of this, my attitude has been totally re-engineered and wired to the positive. The hardest part was the beginning when someone would come up and say " did you hear about...", and your reply was no. Then before they could detail the latest news, you calmly explain your new program. It has been tremendous.

BBC News for me

My main source of newsitems is BBC News, usually via their website, sometimes their World Service broadcasts (even though I live in England), occasionally I watch their TV broadcasts. I supplement this with watching an Internet news service in BSL. Sometimes I supplement the BBC News website with those of English broadsheet newspapers such as The Guardian, or The Times (never the Torygraph). And if I'm in a revision mode I scan the websites of the major Swedish dailys.

However, I am suspicious of news schedules after having been on business in Philidephia, PA and caught a broadcast on CNN of a BBC staff journalist covering the Ethiopian famine, the one that lead to Live Aid. I returned home a week later to catch "breaking news" on the BBC's main TV broadcast --- yep, the exact same footage broadcast days earlier by CNN! Somehow it had taken the Beeb over seven days to pick up a story from one of their own people reporting a major catastrophy.

This convenient scheduling still goes on at the BBC. Only yesterday they were reporting a comment from a government minister about how P2P networks might have to be controlled by law. This seemed to be a follow-up to the closure the day before of the OiNK P2P network. However, the ministerial comment was actually made back in July. So much for "breaking news". I could recount many occasions when news has appeared on the BBC News website but only become breaking news on their TV or radio bulletins days later.

Despite these comments I still find the BBC News coverage to be authoritative; much like Mikhail Gorbachev did during the abortive August 1991 coup in the Soviet Union. The only news coverage of events in his own country to be trusted were those from the BBC World Service.

The thing you're forgetting

The thing you're forgetting about TV news is that anything on TV news can be classified as "breaking news" if the station/channel is "breaking" the news to its market. The BBC could do this, as it probably wasn't covered in other media, was it? If so, challenge the BBC. ;)

Bear in mind, I have no compassion for TV news. "All the news that fits in ... oh, 30 seconds to 2 minutes."

RSS is cool


I don't watch TV news at all or read the papers. If I'm going to get news, I get it from National Public Radio or American Public Media (the local public radio station carries them both). I listen in the car (which is very little time, actually) and pick up a few strategic feeds on Google Reader for a couple of the shows I like.

Even NPR has too much negative, which is why I like the RSS feeder. I can scan the headline and decide whether I want to read any more. So when I see six headlines in a row for Iraq or Iran, I can scroll right on past them and stop on the Nobel Prize or the lastest research into some subject I like hearing about. This gets mixed into my feeds on GTD and organization/clutter and a couple of other things, so I get creative, constructive stuff wrapped around my negativity.

When my kids are old enough to understand journaling I might get them into it. For now, I punch their art and stuff it in Rolla books. They like flipping through the books and so do the grandparents. :)


Cool idea

Love this idea and the link. Thanks!

- Jen

This is idiotic

If we don't absorb the news (by TV, internet, radio, other), we are regressing as a people. Don't be 'that guy' who doesn't know about anything happening in the world- even if its just local news.

People who know the events of the world become wiser.

Try to make yourself better rather than hiding away from the world.

thanks for your comments

Hi there,

Thanks anon for your comments. However, I think you're missing the point. I still read the news, just on my terms and my media (the internet). As a result I find that I'm more well-versed in what is going on than the typical media of television. Which tends to report ideas that are way too sensational, depressive and negative. All this does really is scare people and make us all depressed.

What I am advocating in this essay is that people need to remember that they are also their own reporters. What goes on in their families, friendships and communities also is news. When was the last time you really sat down with your family (assuming you have a family with kids) and really talked to them about what is going on in their life? Many families don't do this anymore. They'd rather disconnect from their family and the local life that seems to affect them more-- only to fall victim into the scare tactics of today's anchor-people who bring stories of doom and terror.

My exercise gives them a sense of belonging. It allows them to report on their own world. What's going on in their lives, communities; from their perspective.

That is not stupid. Doing this helps build up your creative muscles (which is the point of my series of articles) and shows people what you are interested in. Sometimes, this is of common interest to others.

Perhaps you should give this a try and post stories of your world to help make the world a better place.

Thanks for reading,