As a PR person, I am probably not supposed to say this out loud. It’s the kind of thing we say only among friends. But I haven’t kept it a secret. So it’s not really a confession when I reveal that I can’t stand TV news.
As a PR person, I am supposed to keep track of what’s being covered on local news. I’m supposed to know who’s reporting for what station.
But when I watch, I get so angry – angry about the sensationalism, about the violence, about reporters shoving microphones in the faces of people who are grieving or in the midst of some personal tragedy. And I get angry at the lack of thoroughness that reporters are forced to comply with.
As a mother of young children, it is easy for me to get out of my news-watching obligation. There is no argument that TV news is not healthy for young children.
So imagine my dilemma a few days ago, when my first-grader’s homework assignment included watching the weather report on TV. We turned on the 9:00 news hoping they would touch on the weather at the start of the newscast. (Yes, I realize the 9:00 news is Fox, but I wasn’t going to keep my child up later for the 10:00 news options.)
As the anchors started running down the stories they would be covering, one announced: “Woman found chopped up in her front yard!”
I’m not picking on the reporters themselves. They are part of a system that is driven by powerful outside forces while at the same time being critical to our democratic society. So, yes, it’s important to tell the bad news as well as the good. And yes, there is a lot in this world that is not pretty. I understand that.
But come on.
We can do better than this.