Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Information Overload

I am seriously suffering from this. I wonder how people can manage to keep on top of all the things happening in the world. Yes, I know that it is easier than ever to get access to breaking news with 24-hour news stations and the Internet. Then of-course there are the more traditional media like newspapers and radios.

For me though, this choice is a big part of the problem. Having more sources of information (and channels where news can be disseminated rapidly and continuously) means MORE NEWS. More news to keep track of and it all moves so fast. Argh! This would be super-duper exciting if I had no job, but since I do I struggle to find the time to follow news items.

I probably get the most info on the Internet. I scan a few news sites and catch the jist of the story, but no time for in-depth reading and musing of the real issues. I download countless podcasts, but where's the time to listen to them? I get some news on the radio on my way to work, though I'm usually torn between that or listening to Dan Foster on Cool FM (I did find this quite cool morning news show on Star 101/103.something FM), and very occasionally from news programs on TV (I hardly watch TV these days, but try to while I'm getting ready for work). As for the time to read newspapers - forget it! Only on Sundays.

So the end result is that I'm constantly feeling like an ignoramus. Oh well, I'm doing my best, I really am. And I know more than a few people like me.

(Link to BBC story on how young people in 10 countries are getting their news)


aquababie said...

i listen to public radio and read news online. i occasionally buy a sunday paper.

Nkem said...

Okay, allow me to break down my typical day.
6-9am: Today programme on Radio 4
12-12.30pm: Daily Politics on BBC 2
5-6pm: PM on Radio 4
7-8pm: Channel 4 News
(all of the above are unmissable, if I miss 'em, I listen again online)
In between, I'll be listeniing to and watching BBC World Service, Radio 5 Live, CNN, Sky News, BBC News 24, BBC News online (especially Africa)
Everyday: Guardian newspaper, Times, Telegraph online. Don't do Independent cos you have to pay.
Weekends: Guardian, FT, Observer, Sunday Times.
Then I have a staple of weekly magazines, and tv/radio programmes.

But then, I'm a journalist. I'm currently doing an internship at the New Statesman magazine, and even though I'm at the heart of the news agenda I feel I'm missing out because of all the radio tv stuff. And magazines are more analytical than hard news, so I don't see everything. People in the different media don't get to watch much television, and radio, cos they're so busy making it.

I'll be starting some work at the World Service next month, so I've been listening to it even more than usual. And while I'm out there, I'll be getting every single piece of news in the ether. It'll be my decision to decided what should be broadcast and what shouldn't, so I'll probably feel soaked in the loop.

Nkem said...

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I read the other newspapers online. And just five minutes ago, I discovered bloglines.com with RSS feeds. I feel sated now.

Ore said...

@ Aquababie: I used to listen to public radio all the time. I used to listen to it online at work too - all day. Miss that!!!!

@ Nkem: Well, I went into minor shock reading your list, but you are a journalist and it's expected that you would be soaking news and current affairs through all your pores. But still, WOW!

Anonymous said...

I reckon I suffer from the same thing too. But lately I made the mistake of installing another RSS News Reader, and at the last count, I think Iam pointing to about 2000 feeds. That is in addition to TV, Radio and the papers. Sheer madness.

Pilgrimage to Self said...

Do like I do and just switch off when it all gets too much. Apart from death, destruction, disaster, terrorism, illicit affairs, politics and the antics of the people running government, what truly positive thing does the news have to offer? Nought I say!

Thanks goodness for programmes like 'Just a minute' on radio four at least it gives me a good half hour of amusement.

TRAE said...

@aba boy...Sheer madness...you too funny.

but it's true. i know when our cable was good i 'd waste the whole day watching TV. thank God it's gone bad, i can now focus on "useful" information.

TRAE said...

@aba boy...Sheer madness...you too funny.

but it's true. i know when our cable was good i 'd waste the whole day watching TV. thank God it's gone bad, i can now focus on "useful" information.