Home > Uncategorized > Be Informed. Stop Watching the News.

Be Informed. Stop Watching the News.

Back when I was a kid we had CBS, NBC, ABC and later, CNN. You generally read Time, Newsweek, or if you we’re feeling a little “punchy”, U.S. News and World Report. You had your local paper, and you might pick up a copy of the New York Times, Washington Post or Wall Street Journal. If you wanted to delve deeper, you could always go to the library and dig through the card catalog or bend the ear of the reference librarian and peruse the periodicals. Oh, those were the days!

Today it seems we have an endless stream of information. Unfortunately, much of that stream is simply B.S. Over the past several years I find that I consume less and less information from the mass or main stream media. I’m fair and balanced, having tuned out CBC, NBC, CNN, ABC and Fox News. As a former Army Psychological Operations Specialist – aka propagandist – I’m pretty good at sniffing out propaganda. I saw propaganda firsthand in the Serbian side of Bosnia (part of the former Yugoslavia). They had propaganda down to a science. Practically anyone you talked to on the Serb side could spout the party line, and unlike Rick Perry they didn’t forget the third point.

I used to really enjoy watching the news and will admit to occassionally watching CNBC, mostly for laughs but also for that all too rare useful bit of information that accidentally slips out. For the most part though my consumption of corporate media has gone dark. So, how do I get my information? Primarily through blogs. Most of what I consume today is information about the economy. To me, most of the political blogging isn’t worth consuming. I’d rather spend a week trying to keep up with the Kardashians than spend the same week reading the latest inside politics blather.

Why blogs? Well, the format tends to be short. I have ADHD (or ADD if you will) and if an article gets too long, odds are (unless it is extremely interesting) I won’t finish it or won’t be able to digest it all. Second, many blogs reference the original material that the post is based off of. So, you don’t have to just believe what the author says, you can check the facts for yourself. Many blogs also have active reader audiences and interesting comments. Sometimes the links posted in the comments section or just as informative, if not moreso, than the original blog post. Also, the great bloggers nicely blend journalism with technical expertise with the result being an article which is clear but includes enough technical details to satisfy both the lay person and someone who has a more advanced understanding of the subject matter.

Unfortunately, most news today is so inaccurate and riddled with propaganda that it is of no use whatsoever. In fact, if you rely on corporate media to make important decisions, I pity you. What is presented aren’t facts – not even close. Think of how many stories you have seen that say something like the economic recovery is just around the corner. Well, we may not technically be in a recession, but tell that to the 9% (more like 16% plus if you include workers who have given up looking for work, are working part-time, etc) who can’t find work. Pretty much any important issue of the day from energy to the economy and from presidential politics to foreign policy is so distorted, misinterpreted and outright lied about by the media that you’re just getting dumber every second you watch. Take out the remote control, or if you’re old school – the clicker, and back away from the boob tube. There is a world of information to discover, but it’s not to be found inside your idiot box.

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