The Weekend Assignment is posted each Friday at Outpost Mâvarin; a roundup of responses goes up the following Thursday, so if you'd like to join in, you've still got some time!
Weekend Assignment #207: Are you a news junkie, or not so much? Do you seek out news on tv, radio, in newspapers or online, or are you sick of the endless rehashing of the same issues? I realize it's all a continuum, from "I never watch the news" to "I keep it on all day, and read several newspapers" (or whatever). Maybe you vacillate, depending on what's going on in the world or your own life. What's your current level of interest?
Extra Credit: Is there a particular news story you have been following recently?
I think the best way to describe my news-following habits is to call myself an "intermittent" news junkie. Depending on what's going on in the world at a given time, I may devour current-events stories, but eventually I'll hit a saturation point and start to tune out.
I rarely watch television news unless there's something major breaking - election results, war breaking out, natural disasters, things like that. I do get the headlines on the radio in the morning and evening, between the traffic reports on my commutes to and from work; when I'm in a period of paying close attention to current events, I'll switch over to NPR in between the traffic updates. (I know it sounds goofy, but I feel just a little smarter and better-informed when I've spent some time with Morning Edition on the way to the office.)
The radio goes off, and my iPod goes on, when I get to work, but I have internet access all day at my desk. Since I've begun spending more (and more) time online, I'm reading the newspaper much less, and I let my nearly 20-year subscription to Newsweek lapse. However, a number of the blogs I read regularly discuss news and issues, and their posts will frequently link back to articles on mainstream-media websites, so I think I stay reasonably well-informed.
There are certain areas of news coverage that interest me more than others, as one might expect. I pay less attention to international news than I probably should - I guess that makes me an American, huh? I'm generally interested in news about domestic politics and the economy. I pay attention to some local news, but my focus is a bit off; I don't follow much of what happens in the suburb where I live - truthfully, I'm not sure much does happen here, but if it does I'll hear about it from my brother-in-law, who reads the local paper - but I keep up with the big things happening in the greater Los Angeles area. I try not to pay too much attention to the tabloid-fodder coverage of minor celebrities, but it can be hard to dodge, especially out here.
I'm actually in one of my news-junkie phases these days, as it happens. I'm pretty interested in most matters related to the upcoming Presidential election, and I'm paying attention to news of the economy at the state and local levels, as well as the national one. Locally, much of the news these days has been about a rash of shootings and murders that are most likely gang-related, so I'm glad I don't actually live within L.A. County. There's also a lot of talk about foreclosures and the price of gas (I paid $3.59 a gallon to fill up car today; I'm glad I drive a Honda Civic).
I suspect that as summer approaches, my interest in the news will ebb a bit, and kick back up as the election approaches - but that depends on what's going on. What's news with you?