How to distinguish if news is important

 

With 24 hour news channels and daily news shows that air throughout the day at fixed time slots, it makes you think- How can there always be just enough news to cover in one hour slots and enough to fill 24 hour news channels? The reality is that there often is a lot of stuff going on in the world. Whether or not all of it qualifies as news is another issue, but people watch it or else it wouldn’t keep appearing on our TV sets.

For some people however, the news is not actually good to watch. Many people do not handle news well and this has a negative impact on their lives. It can even make people less productive at work and make them feel depressed, scared and angry. Some news topics and stories are important for people to follow. For instance, if person is invested in the stock market or a business owner, then knowing what events are taking place that may directly impact that work may be useful information. However, when you hear the local news saying that someone was shot on the other side of town, that really has no benefit to the listener. There is very little that a person can gain by knowing that information.

One of the main topics that are being talked about in the news at the moment is the naval blockade that Israel has in Gaza and the seizure of the flotilla where 9 people were killed and soldiers were injured. This information is unlikely to have any actual relevance or importance to the vast majority of people, even those that are from the countries involved. This is an issue that can anger the viewers/listeners from both perspectives but, for others it can be a source of interest.

On this issue and the Gulf oil spill which also dominates the news now, if a viewer becomes angry and emotional about it then, this is not good and they should turn the channel. This type of news is only beneficial for people that 1) are interested in it AND 2) more importantly, do not let it affect them in any way other than being entertained by it.

Some good ways to determine whether news is useful information or just possible points of interest is to see if the business channels are talking about them and see if they connect the issue to helping or harming business. Another way is to see if the company you own or work for is talking about it and whether it can affect their operations in some way. The third way to see if news is relevant to you is to think realistically if any part of your life will be changed in any way by this news story. If the answer is no to all those test points, then chances are that the news is not actually important to you at all and only possibly interesting. If you can watch/listen to the news and not be emotionally affected in any way then enjoy the telecast, otherwise you should change the channel.

I try not to watch local news because it has no positive effect on me. Instead, I watch business news, political news and sports news because those are the topics I am actually interested in and/or affect my work and also do not negatively impact me. Doing this has helped me very much and I have not at all been in a position where something local that was relevant information to me did not become known to me. You should try this out for a week and see how you feel, I suspect it will be beneficial to most people.