I watch less news these days. It has something to do with misery overload.
Being told, in dying colour, night after night, about the insurmountable climb, the great gulf, between we plebeian and our fabled Utopia–deadens the soul.
And of course if you’ve watched any amount of blue-screen news, you’ve already bought Utopia. And you already know that the distance could be covered if only "those bastards over there" would accelerate and implement that targeted legislation.
TV news is safely-distant while giving the illusion of being unmediated. It is both passive and aggressive, and so conforms nicely to our culture. It seals us from engagement while providing us with an appropriately packaged emotional response. It is both hook…and sinker.
Print, on the other hand, requires engagement. It can jar, but done well, will require you to bring your own response to the argument. Done right, you’ll have to work out your misery, which can be a kind of healthy coping exercise. Done right, print can, without ignoring our foibles and failures, instigate personal and collective action.
Print is suffering. Newspapers, news magazines, will only survive if they stop trying to be print versions of the nightly news.