Thoughts on Views and News

As I said in yesterday’s post I am trying to limit the amount of time I read and watch the news. I am also trying to look at social media less or at least unfollow the people who stress me out. I do, however, still read the paper, watch the news, and read social media at some point during the day. Here are some things I have noticed.

There are too many people who are on the extreme on one side or the other. There are people who think we should all stay locked in our houses until there is a vaccine and anyone who thinks otherwise is stupid and will lead to the death of us all. There are people who think we should open everything up with no social distancing measures because this is all a hoax. I hate to admit that I agree with Chris Christie on something, but he wrote a very good opinion piece in the Washington Post recently about how we can’t let either extreme dictate how we do things. We need to find a balance to do things safely and sanely. Unfortunately, the extreme voices are usually the loudest.

It doesn’t help that the media on both sides use misleading headlines and graphs. I say a post on social media yesterday from a local news station. The article was about how hospitalizations have flattened in Maryland. They talked about how the death numbers usually lag behind these numbers by a week or two so that flattening would happen later. The headline and the graph was all about the death rate so people who just saw that in their feed would think it was all about how people keep dying. I saw another post that said “doctors say social distancing went too far” and the actual article quoted one doctor from one location, not doctors plural. Local stations generally report mostly on the number of total cases and deaths in the state but don’t highlight negative tests, recoveries or the flattening hospitalizations while news agencies that cater to the reopen no matter what crowd will find people to talk about how the numbers are skewed or overblown.

My advice – read new sparingly. Read news from reputable sources. Read news from both sides of the issue. Actually read the story, not just the headline. Look at all the numbers reported by the health department and look at their graphs to get a total picture if you want the information. Think for yourself and don’t let politicians or celebrities tell you what to think.

5 thoughts on “Thoughts on Views and News

  1. Infotainment should always be treated with a pinch of salt, in my opinion. They only ever report on things that are out of the ordinary, but in such a way as to make it seem that they’re perfectly normal. It’s all about risk assessment, and they aren’t very good at providing ‘balance’ in that context.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I have limited most of my news to NPR with a smattering of Washington Post and, of course, Dave Pell. I have no idea how balanced that is. I do feel that most of what I read, though, is backed by science. I tend to ignore posts that are more opinion pieces, and I’ve learned, like you, that the headline frequently misses the salient point of the piece. And I only read news. I haven’t listened to/watched the news for years, possibly since the 9/11 event. Somehow I know the important things that are happening anyway. The only times I see news on TV are when I’m visiting other people and they watch the morning shows, usually the Today Show. I’ve found that to have become so dumbed down that it really shouldn’t be classified as a news show anymore. Yes, I’m anti-news. But I’m informed!

    Liked by 1 person

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