Good Old-Fashioned TV News

Very early this year I stopped reading the free newspapers in London because of the miserable news they are laced with. I felt that it wasn't really doing me any good and decided to be more selective about the information I digested – you can read further about it in my post from back then: To Know Or Not To Know.

It's been going pretty well. I've had more time to read on the train to and from work and I haven't been as upset by all the news of torture and death. However, I've started to feel slightly disconnected from what's going on in the world. I'm finding that when I meet up with friends, particularly when it's a group, current events naturally come up. It's as if I live on another planet sometimes. I find myself saying "Wait, what's going on?" in disbelief probably more than I'd like.

But I was a little puzzled as to how to rectify the situation. I certainly didn't want to go back to reading the free newspapers. I could always buy another paper (everyday? or just once a week?) or read news online at lunchtime. But lunch is one of the only times that I have to read other people's blogs.

Then, the other night, the Hub switched the TV to the national news at 10 p.m. We've been trying to get into the habit of turning the TV off at a set time (10 or 10.30) so that we can wind down before bed – reading, tidying up the kitchen (me, not him). So he left the news on and went off to do something and I, too exhausted to move from the sofa, laid there and watched the whole half-hour program.

And it was amazing! In our Internet age of online news sites, commentary, blogs and twitter, I had forgotten there was another way to get news. And it was packed with all the major national and international news stories, succinct and it was finally, finally information given to me without reading (I didn't feel guilty - I read a lot). I know TV news can be biased ('the establishment's' side of the story, I suppose), but really, all I want is a way to just know what's going on generally. If there's anything I want to know about more specifically, I can go online and read more about it.

It's also a good way to punctuate the end to the evening. If I know I'm going to turn the TV off at the end of the news, I'll do it. Habit-forming and all that.

But it does seem so old-fashioned. Getting news from the TV, the broadcast TV, when it's actually going out live? What will I be doing next – buying a rotary dial phone?

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