I quite love the way Twinkle Khanna connects humour and politics in flawless ways. I would actually go and Google search the particular news or ask my well-informed husband about what she has written, AFTER I’ve read her article. My curiosity arises only when I smile at her blatant words.

Recently, there was this article about Kapoors and pangas and I got to know who Gitanjali Rao was only after Mrs Funny Bones wrote how Indian mothers are going to start comparing their kids to the Kid of The Year! So, yes, this is how I get around knowing what’s happening in the world around me. And, then there’s Facebook and WhatsApp.

It’s not that I never tried watching the news or reading the newspapers. In the 11th grade, we had to do projects that involved a lot of newspaper cuttings. I had gotten a whiff of being aware of the world around me during that year but after that and watching the news a couple of times, this is why I stopped watching the news or reading the newspapers altogether:

  1. Firstly, it wasn’t really a ritual at home. Or perhaps it’s because the father is usually the one who keeps reading the newspapers in most homes, and I didn’t have one. Even after I married, my husband never really read the newspapers we subscribed to though he was somehow always updated with the trending news. So, it wasn’t something that interested me.
  2. A negative start to the day. I believe that one’s day should start with positive vibes. Whenever I have watched the news during the day, I was quite troubled and disoriented for the rest of the day. An emotional person like me cannot handle terrible news early in the morning.
  3. I cannot change disgusting people. When I would read or watch the news about rape and murder cases, my blood would reach boiling point. I would be shocked and confused with the horrible doings of the culprits as well as the mentality of those protecting them. As this seemed like a constant reminder that the world was full of sick people, I felt it was better to avoid it.
  4. It felt like unwanted screen time. After wasting a lot of time with the idiot box while I was pregnant, I stopped switching on the television a year after my daughter was born. I would probably only put it on if she wanted the music channel. Now, I probably watch one or two shows twice a week, though I always have a list of movies to be watched. So, watching the news is far down my ‘things to do’ list, anyway.
  5. Focus is on TRP (Target Rating Point) rather than the news. I have seen glimpses of news channels that kept asking their viewers to tune in at 6pm to know more about a UFO. Seriously? I have seen how hypes are created about simple news just to get everyone’s adrenaline rushing and the TRPs increasing. The worst was when the SSR case was taken to such insane heights that everything else was made to seem unimportant; like the pandemic, border tension with China, earthquake in Maharashtra, floods in Telangana, rape and molestation of kids in UP, change in labour laws, etc. Even though I wasn’t a big fan of SSR, his death shocked me because I have known him since Pavitra Rishta. But, the way the news channels went on about finding the culprits of the celebrity’s death, I felt it was unnecessary. Otherwise, they should be doing the same for every rape case or murder case of the common citizens of the country too, shouldn’t they? And what about those martyrs who die saving some of our citizens? Is their sacrifice taken to such zeniths?

I’m not saying that all of you should stop watching the news too, because there are some of us who get to know about important happenings only because you guys watch the news or read the newspapers daily. I just wanted to write about why I don’t watch the news because many people have been asking me about it.

Personally, I believe that the benefit of reading newspapers or watching the news is only that they help some of us realize how blessed we are in our little cocoon. And, yes it is good to know what’s happening at least in our own country. And, perhaps to find jobs! But, otherwise, nah!

So which one are you? Are you the one who faithfully watches the news to stay updated? Or, like me, do you rely merely on Facebook, WhatsApp and husbands for updates? I would love to know your thoughts!

WHY I STOPPED WATCHING THE NEWS
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This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by myself and Noor Anand Chawla, and happily SPONSORED BY RRE Studios and SHOWCASE Events.

Cindy D'Silva
Cindy D'Silva
Cindy D'Silva, besides being a mother of two angels, is a belly dancer, writer and photographer. She loves partying, bowling and eating sushi. There is a detailed biography about her on the ABOUT ME page in case you would like to know more. :)You can like and follow her Facebook page to get all updates on the latest blogs and more: https://www.facebook.com/blogaberry/

49 Comments

  1. In this day and age, even if we want to escape reading the news we can’t because social media doesn’t let us!

  2. Puspanjalee Das Dutta says:

    I have always felt that it is better to read the newspaper than watching some bigots screaming on my TV. I totally agree and avoid watching the news until its necessary.

  3. Nehal Roy says:

    Most of the times i avoid to watch news, but sometimes i feel, its important to watch. Then it depends on personal how to take it individually. Yours is an amazing post.

    • The nasty turns and mockery of death made me very upset. Along with that calling celebrity for inquiry, the whole drama around people who are idols for someone or the other in India made me feel disgusted. for TRPS new agencies stoops quite low. I now barely watch the news.

  4. Jyoti says:

    I absolutely agree with you . I don’t remember when I last watched a News channel.I do used to check google news but i totally avoided all news during this lock-down period to keep away all negativeness.

  5. Trust me on this when i say “MY sentiments exactly “!
    Its been many years since I stopped watching a news channel ; reasons matching so many of yours.
    Do not want the toxicity & loud inconclusive arguments for the sake of trp’s
    Nor do i want a negative , start, end to my day & yes there are ways to keep ourselves updated .

  6. My father is mostly glued to the channels and my husband reads the newspaper inside out so they’re two people who explain the world to me. So I really didn’t have to watch the news myself. However I do keep myself updated to the latest happenings through twitter.

  7. I can’t agree with you more. Somehow news channels or newspapers make me agitated rather getting informed. So, news for me is mostly through my husband or uncle. And only if it is of utmost importance like Chandrayan launch or some sports news, I make it a point to read. Otherwise I feel it is a waste of time.

  8. I don’t watch news too! Stopped subscribing also. Instead watch the news when I want online but keep up to date with news abroad too, discovered some amazing podcasts and news channels apart from the regular ones. Also reading magazines at your on pace gives you a completely different perspective from what’s shown on TV

  9. Very thought provoking article. I have mixed feelings. I cannot bear to watch the news for the disturbing and toxic content however I still want to be aware of the ongoing stuff in the world. My best option is to glimpse through or better still read it on an app so that atleast am spared the vsiuals.

  10. Abha Singh says:

    My husband is an avid news reader. So yes he updates me about latest. I do read online news but Facebook,whatsapp and other social media they are doing pretty god job to keep ourselves updated.

  11. Interesting thought – I havn’t myself watched news in a long time. I end up reading the news on the apps on my phone.

  12. Supriti says:

    I don’t remember when I last watched a News channel.. U r very right in saying that it’s all about TRP.. In the lockdown while watching Ramayan I discovered DD and realised that their news channel is pure, real news and holistic in approach. The SSR case was just a passing headline when prime time shows on news channels were going gaga over it. To each their own way of keeping themselves abreast with the news..

  13. Can’t agree more and after the lockdown, even at my home we stopped buying newspapers and often web serves as a newspaper too for me.

  14. even I have stopped reading newspapers or watching news on television long time ago. I totally agree with you I like to start my day on positive vibes and news papers or channels give me the vibes like everything in the world is wrong and every person is horrible. Most of the times it is just a way to increase their TRP and it is less of news and more of gossip now.

  15. I stopped subscribing to a proper newspaper about 3 years back. This was partly due to the overdose of information (some unwanted/unrelated) and partly because of trying to lessen the paper usage at home. As a journalism student, I have always taken a keen interest in news and I keep myself updated through either TV or the Internet. However, I allocate a particular time and have only a few channels/sites that I visit where I feel at least the reporting is authentic. That said, everything being put out needs to be taken with a pinch of salt these days as there is bais all around. When I want to ‘do time-pass’ and want some ‘sansani khabar’ & entertainment (not news) I watch other TV channels with some popcorn and have a blast! 😉

  16. I agree with this Cindy that being an emotional person starting the day with a piece of negative news drowned my whole day. I prefer to be updated with all the things going around in and out of the country, so yes, I do follow some written articles; the TRP marathon ruined my interest in news channel in SSR’s case.

  17. News channels are a joke in India. Worse than the general entertainment channels when it comes to drama. Newspapers are no different. I have stopped watching TV altogether. I get my news online and from trusted sources.

  18. Mee too Cindy. All the news which is being broadcasted is either fake or concocted news only. Gone are the days, when reading newspapers and hearing news bulletins used to improve our GK. I am the kid who grew up copyrighting the editorials in the newspapers. But I can’t ask my kid to do the same, as he would lose his language by reading the editorials.

  19. Urvashi says:

    SSR case was my peak. The nasty turns and mockery of death made me very upset. Along with that calling celebrity for inquiry, the whole drama around people who are idols for someone or the other in India made me feel disgusted. for TRPS new agencies stoops quite low. I now barely watch the news.

  20. Monidipa says:

    I can’t agree more with your points. These are the same points due to which I don’t watch the news. News is also paid nowadays!

  21. Priyanka Nair says:

    With COVID-19 and SSR, I have almost stopped watching NEWS and have exit many groups on WhatsApp, to save myself from content-overload. I like to stay updated in my area of interest i.e blogging, Google Policies, and general news around so for that I mostly follow such pages on Twitter.

  22. I stopped watching the news years ago. Living alone, I used to get really upset about the rapes and murders. It was very depressing. I do read the newspaper but just skim the headlines to know what’s happening. Other than that..am good! I don’t need the negativity in my life anymore.

  23. Most channels are aiming for the TRP than the news. I just read the newspaper in the morning. I never watch the news channels.

    • I stopped reading newspaper and watching news channel a few years ago. Newspaper full of rapes and riots no informative piece. Also quit the habit of going through headlines of news channel. It served negativity. From past few years the level of journalism has gone down. Fake news, drama and yes those debates…..
      However I do stop by at a few and reliable sources as we do need some updates. All would say, be extra cautious about what we are feeding to our brains.

  24. News papers and Televison news reflect the society around us. Sometimes news can be disturbing. Also, a practice in our system is to highlight the bad news in the hope of waking up the authorities to act. I think like Mrs Funnybone, if one chooses the right news anchor one may get a balanced point of view. In debates we get to hear opposing points of view. Yes at many places participants shout over each other. But overall if an anchor is good, we get to hear different points of view. Anchors may also decide the flow of the debate by asking easy or difficult questions to participants of his or her choice. In the end, I would say nothing is absolutely bad or good. It is how we use the medium. At the end of the day we have the ultimate power to switch off.

  25. Alpana Deo says:

    I get the updates from Google news. But watching news on the TV, I have stopped during covid and then SSR case. They disturb us more than informing about whats happening around us.

  26. Shweta says:

    Me too!i left watching news channels long back. It is all about TRPs like you said or getting their competitors down.
    Media is all about blowing things out of proportion

  27. Now we are at choice of selecting the kind of news we look for and apps can be managed that way. I really like the DD news that airs at 8pm and states all required information to the viewers and that news is less dramatic and concentrate on actual issues in India and around.

  28. Amrit Kaur says:

    I too feel the same. It is good to read news articles in digital device at the ease of our availability. I too rarely watch news in television.

  29. If we talk about the indian news channels, yes they have gone for a toss. The news they show is all rubbish. But we still enjoy watching BBC for the way the present the news. It’s very nice.

  30. Ruchi Verma says:

    I remember my dad used to watch news in the evening not in the morning mentioning that let’s not start with the negativity

  31. I second your thoughts. The media is called as the fourth pillar of constitution. It is supposed to be. A tool to aif the public but now its turned into a circus. Cynical,, blatant lies as propagandas for the sake of money. A bonus is tons of negative energy spread of magnanimous proportions

  32. Roma says:

    You are so right Cindy the focus is on the trps rather showing the real facts. That’s what hax pit me off the news channels too

  33. Well honestly with recent COVID situation I do watch news 2-3 times in a week to keep myself updated with recent happenings but I agree that nowadays news channels has become commercialized and they more focus on TRP rather than Sharing actual news.

  34. This is so true. My husband always says that these are just commercials supporting those who pay the channels more. Coming to think of it we feel that it is true.

  35. Haha.. I love reading news paper but watching news no ways.. It’s a nuisance. The best thing I like about news paper are speaking tree and filling Suduko.

  36. I feel the same, Cindy..I do read the newspaper but not watch toxic news being reported all day again and again repeated just to up the TRP

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