catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 13, Num 7 :: 2014.04.04 — 2014.04.17


It’s all news to me

As a young girl, I thought listening to NPR was for old people.  I had fond, if not often bored memories of listening to the calming voices of reporters on that station while on road trips with my family.  Many of the shows they featured lulled me into a peaceful sleep and I never remember feeling alarmed or frightened by the news they shared.   I learned many obscure facts and heard amazing documentary style stories as my family crisscrossed states traveling to battlefields and national memorials. 

Most mornings I would get up to find my mom working in the kitchen with the Today Show on in the background.  The consistency of seeing the same anchors, journalists and segments is a warm memory for me and I continued with that tradition as I grew up and moved off on my own.  Many times I had the Today Show on because it made the dorm room, and then apartment feel more like home.

As I grew up and settled in to college, I also found myself listening to NPR, this time by choice.  I began to understand the value of the news being shared and enjoyed the detailed stories of Nobel Prize winners, and researchers who were making a difference behind microscopes and Bunsen burners.  I remember telling one of my roommates I must be morphing into a grownup because I was enjoying my time listening to NPR.

As I’ve gotten older and truly settled into adulthood, I’ve experienced some of my own struggles, grief and challenges.  I have three sons who are all on the autism spectrum, as well as a younger daughter.  I have been through a divorce and have found myself in a place I never dreamed I would sit.  As I’ve moved through each of these places of hurt and grief, I have become more tenderhearted, and I now work quite hard to avoid much of mainstream news.  I have found in the last decade or so that reported news is often skewed politically, or driven by money, or even presented for shock value.  I have chosen to retreat from consuming most current news topics, because I’ve found myself in a season of life where I cannot emotionally sustain the amount of pain and grief that is so often splashed across the screen.

I do read the occasional article online and do not have my head completely in the sand.  If I become intrigued about a particular news topic, I will search out information about it online and read from a variety of sources.  Most of the time when there is a linked video to accompany the article, I will not watch it. I have found that I have to protect my heart and mind from the visuals that can often be shocking and violent. 

I used to equate being well versed in current events with being well educated.  I wanted to ensure that I was properly up to date about political and environmental events that were occurring and I worked hard to be well informed.  While I don’t think that I will abstain from news consumption for the entirety of my life, I do think that in this season of healing in my personal life it is healthiest for me to purge my diet of the negative influx of bad news that seems to be the norm on most mainstream networks.  I do occasionally feel out of the loop, but am satisfied at this point with my choice to stay mostly uninformed, and also not traumatized. 

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