How to be informed but tune out the noise?

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Carguy85
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How to be informed but tune out the noise?

Post by Carguy85 » Wed Jun 10, 2020 1:42 pm

About a year ago we did away with subscription tv other than Netflix. I was certainly watching way to much news no doubt and absolutely did me no good. As a result I have been reading a lot more but am now frequenting news websites many times a day...I feel I should be informed but am starting to question what good is it doing..especially with investing (I know better than to time the market or pick single stocks). The news outlets seem to be getting more and more sensationalized...ALL of the big names. I feel I should be an informed citizen but am fed up and thinking maybe just get my news from 3rd person either through here or office talk/family. I don’t have Facebook or any other social media accounts. Even contemplated going back to a flip phone but smartphones are inarguably handy. Anyhow what is your strategy to staying informed without daily elevation of your blood pressure?

runner540
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Re: How to be an informed citizen but tune out the noise

Post by runner540 » Wed Jun 10, 2020 1:49 pm

NPR local station or app. 5 min newscast at the top of the hour, and you can add other stories (including about music, culture, etc and feel good stories) to the playlist.

Calm interviews on multiple angles of stories, no crazy imagery or flashing graphics. Marketplace is a good informative business show, not trying to get you to trade.
Last edited by runner540 on Wed Jun 10, 2020 1:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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JoMoney
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Re: How to be an informed citizen but tune out the noise

Post by JoMoney » Wed Jun 10, 2020 1:50 pm

Mark Twain said, "If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you're mis-informed."
The things that "really matter" will be all around you, not on a screen.
Note that it is an election year, and media will be trying to push 'buttons' (especially fear and disgust) more so then other times.
Last edited by JoMoney on Wed Jun 10, 2020 1:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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climber2020
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Re: How to be informed but tune out the noise?

Post by climber2020 » Wed Jun 10, 2020 1:51 pm

Reuters is a decent news source without a lot of the clickbait.

bloom2708
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Re: How to be informed but tune out the noise?

Post by bloom2708 » Wed Jun 10, 2020 1:55 pm

I scan through the headlines on the bottom of the Bing home page.

You don't need to click on any to get a flavor of what the news is. It is more of an occasional browse. Skip the opinion and the news channels reporting what the other news channel is doing as news. :D

From a quick scan I learned George Floyd and the police officer had a history well before the arrest. Didn't click into the details.

AP and Reuters are decent. Scan headlines. If something looks really interesting, click in.
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Hockey10
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Re: How to be informed but tune out the noise?

Post by Hockey10 » Wed Jun 10, 2020 1:58 pm

Pick a few news outlets that you trust and check them once per day. Don't go back until 24 hours have passed.

AnonLady
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Re: How to be informed but tune out the noise?

Post by AnonLady » Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:30 pm

I tried going on an attention diet, an idea recommended by blogger Mark Manson awhile ago, but I have not been that successful. I definitely think it's a great idea. It's just so hard to avoid the news and current events, but he has recommendations for staying informed without getting sucked into the drama of modern media clickbait. I need to try doing it again. I got off of social media, but I still get sucked into news and politics, both wastes of my time IMO but highly addicting due to dopamine.

https://markmanson.net/attention-diet

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Blueskies123
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Re: How to be informed but tune out the noise?

Post by Blueskies123 » Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:33 pm

Hockey10 wrote:
Wed Jun 10, 2020 1:58 pm
Pick a few news outlets that you trust and check them once per day. Don't go back until 24 hours have passed.
That is the problem. After the loss of the fairness doctrine, there are no trustworthy news outlets. Some are worse than others.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FCC_fairness_doctrine

The best thing we could do reinstitute the fairness doctrine.
If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging

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Re: How to be informed but tune out the noise?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:36 pm

I read everything, everywhere. But my investing is like a disconnected second personality. When the Jim Cramer nuts are all running around with their hair on fire, shouting that the sky is falling, I'll take in the entertainment, but even when he says "anyone not selling is an idiot", I remember that he's an idiot and I have no intention of changing investment strategy based on him or what American Pickers think or Pawn Stars or even Danny on Counting Cars.
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HawkeyePierce
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Re: How to be informed but tune out the noise?

Post by HawkeyePierce » Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:38 pm

Switch to periodicals. I subscribe to The Economist, Foreign Affairs and Wired.

Instead of a never-ending stream of news you get weekly/monthly/quarterly doses that comes from sources who don't feel the need to beat everyone else to print.

mtwhmemn
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Re: How to be an informed citizen but tune out the noise

Post by mtwhmemn » Wed Jun 10, 2020 3:11 pm

runner540 wrote:
Wed Jun 10, 2020 1:49 pm
NPR local station or app. 5 min newscast at the top of the hour, and you can add other stories (including about music, culture, etc and feel good stories) to the playlist.

Calm interviews on multiple angles of stories, no crazy imagery or flashing graphics. Marketplace is a good informative business show, not trying to get you to trade.
Well said. This is part of what I do. Marketplace is appointment listening for me. Fantastic show. Either at 6pm from my local station or 6:30pm from another station. Around 6:45pm you can get it via Podcast which is nice because you can stop and start it.

I get my news from Google News on my computer. "Comprehensive up-to-date news coverage, aggregated from sources all over the world...." If there is a source you don't want to see anymore you can get rid of it and add it back if you like. It is only as biased as what you choose to read because it really is a cross section of everything online that matters. If you are on a Mac, Apple news is similar and I use that too some.

mtwhmemn
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Re: How to be an informed citizen but tune out the noise

Post by mtwhmemn » Wed Jun 10, 2020 3:12 pm

mtwhmemn wrote:
Wed Jun 10, 2020 3:11 pm
runner540 wrote:
Wed Jun 10, 2020 1:49 pm
NPR local station or app. 5 min newscast at the top of the hour, and you can add other stories (including about music, culture, etc and feel good stories) to the playlist.

Calm interviews on multiple angles of stories, no crazy imagery or flashing graphics. Marketplace is a good informative business show, not trying to get you to trade.
Well said. This is part of what I do. Marketplace is appointment listening for me. Fantastic show. Either at 6pm from my local station or 6:30pm from another station via the NPR app. Around 6:45pm you can get it via Podcast from whatever Podcast App you like or directly from Marketplace.org which is nice because you can stop and start it.

I get my news from Google News on my computer. "Comprehensive up-to-date news coverage, aggregated from sources all over the world...." If there is a source you don't want to see anymore you can get rid of it and add it back if you like. It is only as biased as what you choose to read because it really is a cross section of everything online that matters. If you are on a Mac, Apple news is similar and I use that too some.

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LilyFleur
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Re: How to be informed but tune out the noise?

Post by LilyFleur » Wed Jun 10, 2020 3:17 pm

climber2020 wrote:
Wed Jun 10, 2020 1:51 pm
Reuters is a decent news source without a lot of the clickbait.
Yes, I like the AP and Reuters apps on my phone (free). They are old-fashioned newswires and are well-respected for reliable, factual reporting. Currently I also read the WSJ and NYTimes and NPR. It seems balanced and much more worth my time than paying for cable so I can watch upsetting, sensationalized TV news.

02nz
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Re: How to be informed but tune out the noise?

Post by 02nz » Wed Jun 10, 2020 3:23 pm

I think the Financial Times is hard to beat, great reporting and analysis on financial and non-financial topics, with a global perspective.

mindboggling
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Re: How to be informed but tune out the noise?

Post by mindboggling » Wed Jun 10, 2020 3:26 pm

I use reuters.com and bbc.com for hard news. Reporting seems factual, but their priorities are sometimes wacky. I don't own a "TV" and have never subscribed to cable except for internet.
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JBTX
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Re: How to be informed but tune out the noise?

Post by JBTX » Wed Jun 10, 2020 7:42 pm

I find reading sources is not as inflammatory as seeing it on TV. Read a variety of sources like NYT, wsj etc. Npr was good when I commuted. Many good podcasts now. NYT daily is usually very good. Much more in depth. Wsj one isn't bad either.

I think having TV news on in the background is just unhealthy. I find that people that watch it a lot tend to be more outraged, regardless of political or ideological affiliation.

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Stinky
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Re: How to be informed but tune out the noise?

Post by Stinky » Wed Jun 10, 2020 7:51 pm

If I was going to pick one newspaper to keep me informed, it would be the Wall Street Journal.

I also like podcasts that deal with news items. I listen to them while I walk the dog or use the treadmill. Podcasts like Planet Money, The Indicator from Planet Money, The Daily, The Journal, and anything from WSJ.
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windaar
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Re: How to be informed but tune out the noise?

Post by windaar » Wed Jun 10, 2020 8:02 pm

I read the WSJ for daily news. No cable news (because no cable!) have also pulled the plug on most social media.
Nobody knows nothing.

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lthenderson
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Re: How to be informed but tune out the noise?

Post by lthenderson » Wed Jun 10, 2020 10:33 pm

I just get breaking news notifications from the BBC app posted to my lockscreen on my smartphone. Generally the handful of lines in the notification is enough information for me and I rarely click to read the full article. If I do click to get more information, I generally don't read past the first paragraph or so which usually sums everything up. If listening to the radio, many talk radio stations have news updates at the top of the hour which is an great source as well.

clip651
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Re: How to be informed but tune out the noise?

Post by clip651 » Wed Jun 10, 2020 11:07 pm

For TV news, the PBS networks carry calmer stuff (well, calmer presentation of current issues, anyway), generally - PBS NewsHour, DW Today, NHK Newsline, BBC News. And by sampling those periodically, you also get some non-US perspective on the news. For example, coronavirus restrictions in Tokyo don't affect me personally, but hearing about it helps give me perspective on how another country is handling the virus. And bonus, no adds in the middle of the broadcast, unless your local PBS is fundraising.

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Re: How to be informed but tune out the noise?

Post by AlohaJoe » Wed Jun 10, 2020 11:50 pm

Carguy85 wrote:
Wed Jun 10, 2020 1:42 pm
I feel I should be informed but am starting to question what good is it doing
Why do you feel you need to be informed? Informed about what? What are you going to do differently in your life if you are informed?

There is a vast, overwhelming amount of research that being informed does nothing. People don't change their minds because of facts. People follow the news as a hobby. If you have other hobbies, it is perfectly fine to drop the "follow the news" hobby.

It isn't even the job of news to "keep you informed". It is their job to sell ads. If you really want to be informed, you're better off reading a few non-fiction books a year. Look at some of the "books of the year" from The Economist and the Financial Times.

khram
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Re: How to be informed but tune out the noise?

Post by khram » Thu Jun 11, 2020 12:18 am

AlohaJoe wrote:
Wed Jun 10, 2020 11:50 pm
Why do you feel you need to be informed? Informed about what? What are you going to do differently in your life if you are informed?
I don't see why being informed is bad. There are definitely media elements pushing fear (or lack thereof) for political and financial reasons.

If I'm aware that the coronavirus is going around, and aware that we're doubling faster than any other state while hospitals are getting close to capacity and half of the population isn't taking a single precautionary measure anymore, I may choose not to go out when possible.

If I'm aware of the massive scale of police corruption, I may think twice about talking to a cop whenever possible.

If I'm aware that there's a statewide curfew due to looting, I may re-plan my day-trip in order to avoid getting pulled over and taking the chance of dealing with an overzealous armed official.

If I'm aware that my favorite band just released a new album, I may buy it. (Yes, one of my favorite bands did actually get a story on CNN, and in Forbes.)

If I'm aware that certain European countries are starting to open up, I may get a little closer to thinking about planning a trip there.

If I'm aware my city has now banned cops from putting people in chokeholds, I may have a better idea of my rights if god forbid I ever end up in a hairy situation.

If I'm aware that other companies in my industry are laying people off left and right, I'll have a better idea of whether I should stay put or expect layoffs in my company too and how aggressively to start a job search.

Regardless of whether you think any of this is overblown, it's very interesting to watch the situation develop over time and see how humans act: how long it takes for people to get restless, how long it takes people to run out of money, how quickly unemployment skyrockets, what the stock market is doing, how fellow police offers deny claims of massive corruption and dirt across the country even when they have no connection to the bad ones. It's interesting reading and thinking when everyone (well, not everyone anymore) is sitting at home.

In general, I would say have something to do. Have a hobby. Have a job. Spend your time on that. Spend some time staying informed, but don't spend all of your time doing that. I personally don't follow any one news source. I read various forums, I talk to people on- and off-line. When these sources link to stories, I may eventually read some related stories. Everything is connected somehow. One fun thing to do, given how quickly things have developed this year, is go back to articles from a few months ago and see if you can remember when the world was in that great of a state.

In addition, I sometimes read news articles like academic papers. Just skim it and look for the important parts. No need to read every sentence -- unless that sentence becomes important. This is a developed skill.

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Re: How to be informed but tune out the noise?

Post by lazydavid » Thu Jun 11, 2020 7:22 am

For the pandemic specifically, my first choice are the regular governor's briefings (or mayor's briefing if your city has those). Of course they're not unbiased either, but they at least tend to be less sensationalist. And regardless of whether you approve of your local leaders or not, at least you're getting the news directly from the horse's mouth, and can evaluate from there. Much more difficult if you're getting it second or third hand with additional spin.

khram
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Re: How to be informed but tune out the noise?

Post by khram » Thu Jun 11, 2020 2:38 pm

lazydavid wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 7:22 am
For the pandemic specifically, my first choice are the regular governor's briefings (or mayor's briefing if your city has those). Of course they're not unbiased either, but they at least tend to be less sensationalist. And regardless of whether you approve of your local leaders or not, at least you're getting the news directly from the horse's mouth, and can evaluate from there. Much more difficult if you're getting it second or third hand with additional spin.
In my case our governor is (rightfully so) being called out on all of his nonsense by the local reporters. He was being reasonably cautious with policies until the POTUS visited. Then we opened up without regard to gradualness and we're now exploding in cases faster than any other state in the nation. I'd be shocked if we have another shutdown even once hospitals get to 100% capacity (unless people start looting again).

Politicians are even less trustworthy than the most slanted news sources IMO.

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Carguy85
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Re: How to be informed but tune out the noise?

Post by Carguy85 » Thu Jun 11, 2020 3:52 pm

Certainly some great suggestions here...the periodicals suggestion was interesting and makes sense totally going against a lot of what I see to be a problem wether it be social media outlets like Facebook or the hypersensationalized and hyper partisan networks.

JackoC
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Re: How to be informed but tune out the noise?

Post by JackoC » Thu Jun 11, 2020 4:28 pm

All news outlets have some political slant, albeit greater in some that others. No outlets listed so far as 'non hype' is thought of as 'neutral' to everyone. I think some of them are quite politically slanted, to the point I wouldn't have much confidence in them. But I'll leave it that and not name names.

But I read a couple of old fashioned publications as my baseline for being informed, one US, one foreign. And if I like them because their political slant is similar to mine, so what? (though one's slant really isn't similar to mine). It costs money to actually subscribe even electronically and of course paper (which I still prefer) and some people would like to cut out that expense. But I think it's much more likely you lose self control and chase the news obsessively or worse get drawn into the various outrage machines of cable news and social media when you choose the news agenda yourself. The ones I'm speaking of will show me news from all countries and major topics, so I don't have to maintain the discipline to do that myself and maybe focus alot of attention on eg. the lady with her dog in Central Park when cable/social media/web news aggregator pages are obsessing on that.

I also usually click the CNBC app more than once a day to see where the market is and if there's any obvious reason for a big change. If that made me tear my hair out or start panic trading that would be really harmful, but it doesn't. If you really have to hide from the market to 'stay the course', that might also be trouble eventually I think.

I can't seriously entertain the question 'why be informed?' except to admit that obsessing about the news and/or getting into recreational outrage as a hobby might be worse than being uniformed. But being basically informed is better than either I think.
Last edited by JackoC on Thu Jun 11, 2020 4:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Toons
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Re: How to be an informed citizen but tune out the noise

Post by Toons » Thu Jun 11, 2020 4:29 pm

JoMoney wrote:
Wed Jun 10, 2020 1:50 pm
Mark Twain said, "If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you're mis-informed."
The things that "really matter" will be all around you, not on a screen.
Note that it is an election year, and media will be trying to push 'buttons' (especially fear and disgust) more so then other times.


Excellent
Thanks for posting
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