I watch the news.
I not only watch the news, I listen to the news.
And I read news from a variety of sources.
I live in a small country town outside of Sydney yet each day I read the Washington Post, the New York Times, the BBC World service (off their app), the Sydney Morning Herald, and Wired magazine. I get emailed newsletters from them all too.
In the morning while I have my shower I listen to the breakfast show on Radio National on the ABC, or the ABC’s radio current affairs show AM. Of an evening I watch the first half of SBS news. It gives me a global perspective.
I don’t watch Fox news, commercial television news, I don’t read any Murdoch newspapers. And I don’t get my news from social media, or from Google.
Now, you might say that I live in a left wing echo chamber and you might be right. So what? I believe I’m capable of discerning between what’s news and what’s commentary.
I was trained as a journalist.
I studied journalism at university before getting a cadetship at the ABC. I completed my three year cadetship and then joined the ABC’s flagship current affairs show This Day Tonight. For a brief period I worked on Four Corners before moving from current affairs to documentaries. After twelve years working as a journalist and documentarian I moved into independent filmmaking.
Why am I telling you this?
Because the world is going through a time of unparalleled change, and I believe it’s critically important that I keep up with things, to know what’s going on and why, so that I can make informed decisions that affect not only me but my loved ones, my country and the world.
Also, how can I ever hope to contribute creatively if I don’t have any social or political context?
I don’t understand people who say they don’t watch the news.
There’s a lot of so-called new-age people who say that. They think this somehow protects them from all the negative energy that they perceive to be out there.
What a load of crap.
It’s like saying you’re going to cross the road with your eyes shut because you don’t want to get hit by a car.
Burying your head in the sand isn’t going to change things. What’s going to change things is action based on informed choice.
There’s many who say they don’t believe the mainstream media. They talk about fake news. I’ve worked as a journalist and what I know is this – good journalists are driven by a strong desire to expose contradiction and hypocrisy. That’s what gets them out of bed each day.
The media conglomerates might have their agendas, such as the Murdoch empire, but if you are selective in what news you ingest, you can remain factually informed.
History is happening around us every day, and it’s being chronicled by the news. I saw floods in subways in New York the other night. It looked straight out of a disaster movie. This is climate change in action.
Like all the bushfires.
Like the destruction of the magnificent Barrier Reef.
I saw the storming of the Capital in Washington, live on TV as it was happening. Who would ever have thought that was possible?
America got out of the Vietnam war because of the TV coverage. The visual news reporting, and the reporting of the My Lai massacre were instrumental in creating a groundswell movement stateside that forced political change.
I read somewhere recently that democracy is under threat because it requires diligence and effort to maintain democratic ideals, and a lot of people aren’t prepared to put in the effort.
If they watched the news maybe they would…