Keeping Up with News while Staying Sane

Keeping Up with News while Staying Sane

In previous posts in this series on news, I’ve promised ideas on staying reasonably informed while also looking after your own wellbeing. Here are some things that help me. I hope you, too, find them useful.

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Good News about News—Harvey

Good News about News—Harvey

I am so proud of our Houston Public Media, PBS station Channel 8(which was the first public TV channel in the country!) and News FM 88.7 (NPR). They provided, and continue to provide, unique services in connection with Harvey and it’s aftermath.

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Things to Know, Do and Not Do about Harvey

Things to Know, Do and Not Do about Harvey

I live in Houston. I am aware that people outside our local TV viewing area are not getting the whole picture about the situation here. Also, probably with the best of intentions, some people are saying and doing things they think helpful, but making a difficult situation even harder. As someone who has lived in Galveston or Houston all my life, I’d like to share some information and suggestions.

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Break from News for a True Persuasion Story

Break from News for a True Persuasion Story

I manage my exposure to news, aiming to strike a balance between staying sufficiently informed while also staying sane. I’m ready for a break from blogging about the news, and I bet you readers are ready for a break, too. So let me tell you a true story about how I recently used the skills I teach.

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A Wide-Angle View from Charlottesville

A Wide-Angle View from Charlottesville

On Aug. 17, I woke thinking about another news-related aspect of what I call “defense against the dark arts of persuasion,” that is, news timing. Sensational news, “big” news, can distract us while other harmful things quietly slide into place, unobserved. I found myself asking, ”Why now?” Who benefits from the timing of the Charlottesville demonstration?

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Diagnosing News Commentary

Diagnosing News Commentary

Having looked at news reporting last time, let’s turn now to news commentary and analysis. The fact that opinions are permissible in this category makes it easy to turn into ratings-driven sensationalism, or worse, ideology-driven propaganda. The best commentators and analysts, therefore, abide by ethical and professional standards. How can we recognize them?

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