Anyone Else Suffering From "News Burnout?"

I’m not exactly a news junkie . . . I read the “NY Times” and watch the evening news (and The Daily Show). But the past couple of weeks, I’ve been looking at the headlines:

“Everyone In Mideast Kills Everyone Else in Mideast!”

“Captured Bin Laden Aide Says Terrorists Planning To Sneak Into Our Bedrooms And Kill Us In Our Sleep!”

“Everything You Eat Gives You Cancer!”

“Earthquake Kills Entire Population Of Peru!”

“YOUR Favorite Movie Star Dies Horribly!”

“Anti-Semitisim At All-Time High; France Elects Hitler Clone!”

“Only One Cup Of Water Left On East Coast!”

And I DO want to jump up and down, steam coming out of my ears like Yosemite Sam, I really do. But I am getting to the point where I just go, “oh, heigh-ho,” make a cup of tea and turn on “Futurama” or settle down with a nice book. Anyone else becoming overloaded to the point where you just don’t fucking CARE anymore?

Absolutely. Well, maybe not to the point where I don’t care, but I’ve been balancing the panic crawl news with The Onion, The Daily Show, Dennis Miller Live, and a SNL here and there. Is that terrible of me?

I’d have to say I fit in this category. But maybe for a different reason.

I stopped getting the daily paper a while back, and that kind of got me out of the loop. I have my Yahoo page and all, but that’s about it. And I don’t watch much TV, so I don’t watch the daily news.

So the extent of my involvement in world affairs comes from the internet or discussions at work. I generally know what’s going on in the world, but don’t really have an in-depth understanding.

I definitely feel like the Middle East situation has burned me out. Same crap, different day. It seems so hopeless, so I lack the desire to follow what’s going on.

Sheesh, I sound like such an apathetic, ugly American. :frowning:

Oh I can relate to this Eve, I call it my 9/11 news psychosis.
Post 9/11, I watched nothing but CNN, MSNBC, FOXNEWS for months. At work I spent hours searching for any and all news about the war on terrorism. I got into such a complete funk that I had to stop watching the news altogether. I cannot bear to turn on any news channel anymore, too depressing. I have "Mideast Burnout"and “Osama Burnout”. I have gone on a news strike and feel much happier.


I was a news junkie for many years beginning at about age 13. So much so that I have a degree in journalism and worked for a few years as a newspaper reporter.

Then about 1994 I snapped. I changed professions and stopped reading the daily rags or watching the news on TV for a few years. Eventually I came around to a more balanced ability to scan the headlines and perhaps the lead and read entirely only the stories about issues that interested me.

Then came 9/11. The news since, especially news concerning terror and the Mid-East, has been so depressing that I’m again not following as closely as I probably should. But I fear my sanity can’t handle too much of the truth right now.

Definitely. A few months ago it suddenly felt like I was just watching a new tv show called “The Adventures of Pasty Rich White Men.” And it wasn’t very good, so I quit watching it.

I have always read the newspaper. Detroit News or Free Press or whatever else I can get my hands on.

Some times both while at lunch at work.

I wasn’t into the headlines moreas the “human interest” stories. What I call the " Rooster Story" from " * His Girl Friday"* one of the best comedies ever made, IMHO where Cary Grant is an editor of a newspaper and is having the entire morning edition re arranged to make for the BIGGEST NEWS STORY OF THE Decade. As he is re shuffling all the former front page stories he shouts into the phone " No no, leave the rooster story alone, that’s human interest!" Always cracked me up. But, I’ve always been addicted to the newspaper.

I love the odd stories, which are now usually the “Darwin Awards” and “Fortean Times” stuff. (Maxim, too.) And I wish I had kept all the
“Eat This/Drink this to help prevent cancer” or " Too much of this will lead to obesity/ADHD" articles ( always little paragraphs) because if I had saved them it would have proven and subsequently disproven over the past fifteen years that eveyrthing causes cancer and obesity and ADHD and then is cancelled out in the next round of scientific experiments.
But, long before I decided to replicate myself and husband and shut myself off from society, a hermit without a clue, I learned a valuable experience. Working at a summer camp with no TV, newspaper and only AM radio reception from Canada it was akin to being in Siberia-news wise. So when we would get a new batch of kids at camp ( I had the oldest girls 11-13) I would always ask them " What is going on in the world." Kids at that age usually don’t pay much attention to the news, but we would get snippets, crumbs, if you will.

I will never forget when someone told me , " Oh, they finally released the hostages." (This was 1985 or 1986)

And my cabin mate and I looked at each other and went, " They released the (Iranian) hostages in January 1980."

Apparently, that summer some terrorists held a plane load of people hostage for a couple of days…to this day,I have no idea what it was all about, and frankly, never really will.

And what I learned from that was ( in hindsight, years later) that outside of weather, 100% of the news that happens does not effect me. And with the weather, all I have to do is stay indoors if it is getting ugly out. ( Living in a very dull place with no cataclysmic weather or interesting history or really interesting scenic things to do, except shop and eat, has its perks. If we didn’t have three sports teams here, there would be nothing to talk about.)

I haven’t watched local news in nearly 9 years because everything in the Detroit stations is crap (violence, drugs, murder, rape, bitch,whine, moan) below 8mile road or thereabouts. If there is a segment on the burbs, it is sporatic. I am north of the burbs. None of it applies to me. When I do watch it, it is so depressing that I turn it off. Have a nice day.

RE: Middle East

I have tried to educate myself on this. But frankly, it goes back thousands of years and will continue to do so for the next thousand. I view the entire Middle Eastern thing as a Ping Pong Match of Violence.

*The only reason we have Direct TV (for me) is CNN and FoxNews. * I need it to check into the cold cruel world once in awhile. Everything else, the two billion stations are for everyone else. When I get my fill of violence and bad things, hen I can turn off the tube and go back to my safe quiet cave.

( I too, like the Daily Show, but can never remember to watch it.)

I also used to read the paper every day and keep up with world news. I kind of fell out of the habit some years back, for no particular reason. Part of that might have been going back to college, so my brain was occupied with trying to learn esoteric geological facts and there just wasn’t a lot left over for other things. And perhaps just getting older has affected my attention span, I don’t know.

But it’s been really bad post-9/11. Like Honey, I was abolutely ravenous for news for a while. I would have the TV on and be surfing the net for news at the same time. After a few weeks of that, I abruptly got so burned out I just couldn’t listen or read any more. Now, I’m halfheartedly trying to follow the Mideast stories, but it’s just too depressing.

I was a news junkie in college and for a few years afterwards. Gradually trickled off, until all the Y2K crap, which ticked me off so much that I swore off the news completely, especially the TV news. Except for a brief respite in September of 1999 (for obvious reason), I pretty much avoid the news, with very few expections. Yes, this make woefully ignorant of what is going on in the world. But it also makes me less depressed about what is going on in the world. I generally have enough of my own personal angst that I don’t need to borrow any. I get the Sunday paper, but mainly for the entertainment section and the job ads.

Another dropout here, circa 1989. News left me rattled because it was all bad, and annoyed, because it was wretchedly and incompletely reported. I check in with BBC news for world situation stuff, scan headlines locally. I like the Wall Street Journal’s special articles, they are offbeat and well-researched.
That’s it.
I also noted my depression is much more manageable since I stopped watching “regular” TV as well. I didn’t realize how many messages were feeding my sad state. I don’t want those products, I don’t look like or act those people.
OTOH, when I do watch a really well-written show now, of any type, it seems fresh and fun to me. A treat!

I just mute the commercials.

I definitely have news burnout. I read the news on, but I actively avoid any and all TV news programs. Anything that involves pundits or so-called “experts” will not be on my TV for more than a second. Most of the news is just too depressing, and Dubya’s circle-jerking speeches make me sick. Isolationism is starting to sound really good about now :frowning:

I definitely have news burnout. I read the news on, but I actively avoid any and all TV news programs. Anything that involves pundits or so-called “experts” will not be on my TV for more than a second. Most of the news is just too depressing, and Dubya’s circle-jerking speeches make me sick. Isolationism is starting to sound really good about now :frowning:

You cannot imagine how much better I feel having found this place.

I’ve been a forum junkie for years, and a political junkie long before that. A few years back I started posting on a rather conservative news-site’s board. The site gained popularity (in the US), the forum grew to about 7000 members, and I somehow ended up as a Forum Administrator. It started as a fairly civil place, about 80% (very) right-wing Republicans, maybe 15% (evidently masochistic) Democrats, 5% frustrated Libertarians. As a libertarian, I shared some common belief with almost everybody, so we all got along. Then the 2000 election came along, and things got ugly. The rhetoric and mud-slinging was nauseating. That’s when I started lurking here, just to get a break from it.

The adrenaline rush set off by Bush’s election stirred the ‘moral majority’ into a frenzy. Liberal-bashing, racism, and homophobia shot through the roof. I couldn’t ban people fast enough. The religious crusading picked up steam. But I stuck it out, thinking that when the rush subsided, things would calm down. In all fairness, even though there was a busload of shiite-stirrers, there was a trainload of just ‘me-too’ folks, caught up in the moment. I figured that a modicum of sanity would eventually return. It almost came to pass, and then 9/11 hit.

The place blew up. Thread count skyrocketed. I had to watch the news 24/7 just to keep pace. But there was so much self-righteous patriotic vitriol that I just couldn’t read the threads anymore, much less take part in any productive debate. Hell, there wasn’t any productive debate anymore. I threw in the towel a couple of weeks later, and took a long vacation. Burned out? You betcha. I never went back. I came to the SDMB because of it’s diversified idealogical mix and it’s general air of civility and tolerance; and because there are always a thousand threads that have absolutely nothing to do with the news.

I still try to keep one eye on Congress (as if they might do something productive), and catch a press briefing here and there, but I think I’ve reached that balance that Homebrew mentioned. (I don’t listen to the talking heads. They’re ‘vexations to the spirit’.) And I agree wholeheartedly with Maragold re ‘regular TV’. It’s mostly crap, but I can finally watch the one or two shows I do enjoy without feeling like I should be watching the news. It’s not that I don’t care what’s happening, but we all need a little tea and Futurama occasionally, right Eve? :slight_smile:

Ah, hobgnoblin, you are just the sort of person we love to see here.

Like others before you, you’ve expressed well the tension all educated people must feel, between wanting to be well-informed and suffering the poisonous effects of news services aimed at selling papers and entertaining people.

But you manage to combine it with a graceful mash-note to these beloved Boards. How gratifying.

It kind of makes up for just discovering that someone has resurrected the “Didja ever shit your pants?” thread.

Ah, the rich tapestry etc


I believe I’ve had news burnout since approx. Sept 13. All the news I need to know get on BBC radio on the way to work (drive takes approx 15 minutes). Other than that, I’ve cut myself off. Surprisingly, I seem relatively well informed comparable to my peers. I’m a little lacking in the local news department though.

Redboss: What can I say? I’m still trying to find my niche here, but I aspire to one day graduate from newbie fawning to the witty repartee of SDMB veterans. Meanwhile, I figured a little schmoozing couldn’t hurt, if gracefully done. :wink: