News, glorious news.
Trying not to lose my mind with television news since the 1970’s.
We need time these days to actually sit down and think about the effect that the daily news has on our lives, but we seem to be far too busy playing with our mobile smart phones, trying to hit that deadline at work and making sure our bills get paid on time so that we don’t get charged the extra amount next month, or god-forbid that our service is stopped.
‘Let it go on as it, I’ll get back to it later’ is one thought, but we never do, and the unstoppable news goes on and on, and begins to shape the word in which ever way it deems fit at that time and space, and unbeknownst to us, it begins to start filling and shaping a part of our reality. Scary, but true, so let me start my ‘news’ journey from when I was a little boy.
Being born and brought up in Streatham, South London UK, I remember watching ‘The News at Ten’ on the ITV channel in the early 70’s on Friday nights, this was a daily broadcast but as I did not have school at the weekends, my parents allowed me to stay awake till 11pm. (What a treat)
Even at that tender age, I had an idea that the channel I was watching, was only a platform for the news which was broadcast from all over the world, as they were no dedicated 24 hour news TV channels in the UK that I remember at that time, therefore, to a child, news only happened at 6 and 10 pm, as other programming would take place before and after that time.
There did not seem to be excessive ‘breaking news,’ sensationalism, or the mad race to become the first channel to get the news before another channel, which was of course the BBC. The only sensationalism we had in those days was the ‘Benny Hill Show’.
Let me share one particular night which I still remember fondly, when one of the two newscasters at ‘the News at Ten’ could not hold back his laughter at a particular piece of sensational news, it went something like this, and the newscaster reported:
“An elderly lady in Purley called the fire brigade to help in rescuing her cat, stuck in a tree located in the driveway next to her house. The fire brigade urgently obliged and the old lady’s cat was rescued. Unfortunately, the cat died instantly upon its return, as the fire engine accidentally drove over it while reversing out of the driveway on the way back to the fire station”.
This was the kind of news you heard back in the day, today however, the news seems to be quite different. Fast forwarding to the turn on the century, I find myself living in sunny Karachi Pakistan where there is about to be a media explosions with TV licences being given out by the then government to the private sector which include 24 hour TV news channels, Radio FM channels and the game is on.
Coming up to present day; we find ourselves in a situation of having more information than we actually need, the internet and You-tube is stronger and TV news has given birth to itself on mobile phones via Facebook and other applications, breaking news is all over place, competition is rife and getting advertising is the key to survival. Once again, money has won. So, what do we do about all of this information?
The good news from my humble perspective is that I personally stopped watching TV three years ago, this freed up my time to follow other pursuits, one of many, writing this article. I found the 24 hour news rather disturbing, leaving me with a negative feeling about our world. I needed the feel-good factor which I managed to get through other activities, as I needed to know that this world is not just only a mean place as perceived by the news channels, it is a place for wonderful opportunity to take place if one has an open mind, a will for self discovery along with goodwill for living cats.
Blessings to you.
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