After the intensity of British politics over the last couple of weeks, today has felt like a massive come-down. I’ve been glued to Twitter, my news channels and Sky News for the last couple of weeks, as the chaos of the premiership of Liz Truss fell apart. I’ve heard other people say that they have been absorbed into the psychodrama of the Conservative Party leadership tribulations, and not in a healthy way.
I’ve felt the stress and intensity of the news information overload in a very physical way over the last few weeks. I wish I were one of those people who isn’t interested in news, and doesn’t take any interest in the way that our politics is heading. Since 2016 (what happened then?) we’ve had intense and frustrating busts of political activity, but none of it in a good way.
As I don’t listen to much radio or TV news any more, and prefer instead to watch the live-streams that come from Parliament TV, or the feed of reporters directly from Twitter. The problem, inevitably, is that each of these feeds has the problem that they are not contextualised and placed into a process of sifting and sorting.
News analysis isn’t something that we want to hang around waiting for any more. We want instant updates, and then we move on to the next sensational and attention-grabbing problem. I’ve been caught up in this, and it is mentally exhausting. When the music stops and we all race for a chair, there’s often nowhere left to rest and recuperate before the music starts up again.
I have listened to podcasts for many years now, but even podcasters are introducing ’emergency’ editions, with commentary on the latest updates. They tend to focus on one topic and one set of views from the podcasters themselves. While they give excellent analysis, they are not part of a mixed news report.
I can’t remember the last time I watched a news bulletin that sampled a range of stores from the UK and internationally. I need to look again at who provides a good feed. Not the BBC here in the UK. I’ve given up on the timidity of the BBC. Following the agenda set by the Mail and Times is not what I expect from an independent news organisation.
Maybe I should look again at the BBC World Service? But I don’t want to be bound into BBC Sounds. France 24 is good, as is DW News. Can anyone recommend a news service that avoids overt bias and is committed to a broad spectrum of topics? I don’t mind a bit of motivated news. I like Byline Times and Double Down News, but they are a counterbalance rather than a comprehensive news service.
Perhaps I should take a few days off and do something creative instead. While we are plugged-in to the news, and are adding to the psychodrama, we are feeding the charlatans with the oxygen of our attention!