Posted by: Chelsea Novak | November 3, 2008

The power of choice

Tash and I were chatting today about people we know who almost exclusively watch the news on TV and how terribly anxious these people are about the state of the world. It got me thinking, are they concerned because of how well informed they are or because of the way they are informed.

Like most of my peers, I read my news. Google reader aggregates my news outlets of choice, I get stories sent to me by friends and I can end up scanning up to 1000 articles a day. Not all of these are hard news stories, but there are a good bunch in there. I think I can, with good conscience, call myself informed.

There’s something about the TV news and how it’s presented, the manner in which information is shared that, I think, creates more anxiety for viewers. The only choice they have is in which news program to watch. They don’t get to decide the story line-up or the manner in which it is presented. I suppose with the advent of PVRs, they can decide when they watch it.

I think I’m in more control of how I’m getting my news and the by reading online, it’s quick and easy for me to check a different source and get another point of view. Further to that, I have most of my close friends ready via IM to share the article with and discuss it. I think even that small amount of control makes a huge difference. Sure there’s lots of streaming video news online, but I feel like I have more control over it.

At the end of it all, the world is still a mess but at least I’m absorbing the magnitude of it on my own terms.

HRH

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