Why I Don’t Read Newspapers

In London there are two papers that circulate daily on public transport – the Metro for the morning commute and the Evening Standard for the return journey home. They are both free and read by millions of people. I haven’t opened either of them for at least a year and I am never tempted to, no matter how enticing the headline or pretty the cover photo (Kate Middleton – girl crush).

There are two reasons that I don’t read these papers and have no desire to. The first being that they can be incredibly exaggerated. I saw this when they recounted the details of the 2011 Christchurch earthquake that devastated New Zealand. As I was keeping up to date with the facts through the NZ Herald website, I could see clearly that the London papers were loosely throwing words and numbers around to make catchy headlines. This made me irate.

The other thing I find hard to stomach is how totally depressing they are. One day I read that in one week alone, four people had jumped under trains to end their lives. It was in a tiny box at the back of the paper and I imagine not many people would have taken much notice, as it’s a common occurrence in London. For the rest of the day my heart was heavy for these people that desperately wanted to die and had succeeded. For their families.

I am incredibly impressionable and a seeker of the truth. This is precisely why tabloid newspapers, trashy magazines and gossip sites do not bode well with me; because I cannot take the words as truth. It’s merely hearsay. For factual accounts and reporting on current events, I watch the TV news or read the BBC news website. I prefer to spend my commute reading a novel or listening to music. Occasionally there is a positive news story that brightens our days, but it’s more often a negative dictation of the world we live in. I simply do not want to start my day with bad news, not ever.

When I gave my life to God, I stepped into the light and committed to a life of truth. To telling the truth and living the truth. I haven’t done either of those perfectly since and I will stuff it up again in the future. Why? Because I’m a human and sometimes, I want to hide from the truth. The truth is hard but it is also how we find freedom and growth.

The media of this world don’t believe that.They believe in getting unflattering pictures of celebrities, making money and glorifying gossip. And if current events tells us anything, it’s that the future is hopeless. I believe something different; that there is hope in this broken and dying world and that it doesn’t end here. If we look only at politics, poverty, the economy, human condition and the earth’s lack of sustainability, we’re all doomed. That’s what the news tells us. I am realistic yet hopeful for what is unseen.

I hear so many people say “sometimes I just want to switch off and read trash! I don’t want to think too hard”. Everyone is different and I am particularly sensitive, I’m aware of that so I do what works for me. However, I think that there is no harm in guarding our minds. Consider today; what are you reading, who are you watching, what are you thinking about during the day? We are influenced and can be easily swayed.

I’m hopelessly hopeful and a lover of the truth, and that’s why I don’t read the newspapers.

Do you read newspapers? What do you think of the media that we read? Share your thoughts in the comments. 

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5 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Read Newspapers

  1. Sometimes it seems like the truth isn’t important these days. The only thing that matters is telling people what (you think) they want to hear, so you can make money. Sadly, this will continue as long as we keep reading and buying the lies and the gossip.

  2. Take it from an American who lives in Washington, D.C., and just survived the MORE-THAN-A-YEAR of presidential campaign news that we are inundated with on a daily basis — the media is RELENTLESS when it comes to distorting the truth, trying to make money, and stirring up controversy. The tough part is, I’m a newsie! (Love the musical, too.) I love staying on top of world news, politics, what’s going on around me. It’s such a big world, and reading the news keeps my finger on the pulse of others — I get out of the “me” mentality. So, I’m stuck between my hate for sensationalized media and my love of people and knowledge.

    Ugh. What to do?

    I don’t have an answer. Just relating to you in my frustration. My college had a “fake” paper published daily that wrote the most outrageous, stupid stories just for laughs. At least with that concept you go into it knowing they mean to be silly. THAT was a good read. ;)

    • Ah, yes, I love this Ruth. I know what you mean about staying out of the “me” mentality. I’m not so much a newsie but I like to read about people and what’s going on around me. To do this and not fill my mind with trash, I’m just choosy about what sites I read.

      Plus, with Twitter and Facebook, we’re always connected. I once spent a month off Facebook and loved it, but honestly it made me more selfish. I forgot about my friends in other countries (or even locally) because I wasn’t reading about them so frequently. That was an unexpected lesson!

      I wonder if it’s a bad thing that I often know what is happening in people’s lives because of FB and not me asking personally, but otherwise it’s just too hard to keep up. Well I’m not sure how this spiel came about, but I guess I just mean it’s hard for us NOT to be kept updated when we are online.

      It sounds like a good read! We need more of that :)

    • Part of dealing with the newsie side when faced with media that lie to you is finding alternate news sources that seem to be factual. CNSNews.com is one of mine.

      I don’t know how much of it Micaela has in the UK, but as another American I’d say that over here there’s not just the need to sensationalize to sell papers, there’s also a feeling among many media that their responsibility is to shape public opinion, rather than just to report facts. It becomes propaganda rather than an attempt at truth, and as of this last presidential campaign it seems that many of the organizations are willing to go to outright blatant lies in order to achieve the public opinion they want. I’ve seen some people who escaped Soviet communism before the fall liken some of the US outlets to Pravda in the USSR. That’s not a good thing.

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