News Diet: An Eclectic Look at My Viewing Habits

News has, and always will be, a major part of my life.  However, looking back at all the news I’ve consumed over the years, I would speculate that it has been a rather lean diet.

Looking back at my childhood, news was central to our family routine.  I would wake up around 7 in the morning and rush downstairs to eat breakfast.  As I took my seat at the table, I would hear those classic NBC chimes introduce the morning program Today.  When Katie Couric and Matt Lauer said the simple words “good morning,” I knew everything would be okay.  After both my mind and stomach were full, I would hurry off to school.  Dinner was a similar routine.  It was always precisely planned for 5:30 in the evening.  As soon as Dan Rather came on, we refocused our attention.  The routine continued day and night until September 11, 2001.

The crew I start(ed) each morning out with:  Al Roker, Katie Couric, Matt Lauer, and Ann Curry.

The crew I start(ed) each morning out with: Al Roker, Katie Couric, Matt Lauer, and Ann Curry.

I was in second grade.  As per the usual routine, I would come downstairs and have breakfast while watching Today.  But this morning was different.  I don’t remember much about that morning except for two things: my mom crying and watching that second plane hit.  Something about that image stuck with me, and probably will stay with me for the rest of my life.  I sat in disbelief and confusion, but was somehow comforted by the calm demeanor of Katie and Matt.  I knew things were bad, but that we would get through it together.

Not many people knew what they wanted to do from a young age, but I knew I wanted to be a journalist.  More specifically, I wanted to be a journalist for NBC News.  But how did this affect my viewing habits?

As I grew older, I began strictly watching NBC News, whether it be Today or NBC Nightly News, or even news from our local NBC station.  I convinced my parents to convert to NBC from CBS.  When I entered college, I began watching MSNBC as a way to keep up with politics and the latest news.  If I was on the go, I could keep up with events through the NBC news app.  If I was on my computer, I could log on to nbcnews.com.

Ever since that horrific September day, I relied on NBC because they provided the news in a way that comforted me.  This in turn built a sense of trust.  I trusted their perspective on different world issues and their political views aligned with mine.  There is a slight liberal bias that is especially prevalent on MSNBC.  I’ve noticed the growing need for a liberal news outlet to compete with Fox News, and MSNBC conformed.

People ask whether or not entertainment sources, such as Entertainment Tonight or E! News can be informative.  My answer would be yes, at least to a certain extent.  Shows like ET provide “news” that focus on the negative things celebrities have done and the scandals that surround them.  While it is “news,” it is not what I consider important news.

Every once in a while, I use Facebook as a news aggregator in that I share a lot of current event issues and political stories.  Through Facebook, I am able to talk with my 1,298 friends (or at least the ones who are interested) about these issues and get their take on it all.  Sure, people may have a different view on an issue than I do, but I respect their opinion.  Everybody has a right to voice their own perspective.  Philosopher Voltaire said it best when he said, “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”

Looking back on my news intake, I could be a bit more diverse.  I think it’s healthy to have different perspectives on an issues so that you can make a fully informed decision.  I realize I don’t need to be on such a lean diet, and will adjust my diet accordingly, however painstaking it may be.

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