Ramblings of a Tampa engineer
Business newspaper pages
Photo by AbsolutVision / Unsplash

If I turn back the clock further and further to being a younger kid - there is one thing I remember is newspapers. Whether it was the dog ripping it to shreds or just picking it up and carrying it home after the morning dog trip.

The next memory is moving into my first apartment in college and I'll never forget someone coming to my door and asking if I would want to buy a newspaper subscription. When they said it was nearly $10/month I was like "ehh no" - I didn't want to spend what little money I had on news.

After that I've never been in a situation where I bought a newspaper again. What I have instead as news is a constant stream of alerts, tweets and Reddit at an insane pace. This means I can choose to get updates about the current situation in Ukraine up to minute by minute, but I struggle to know when my local city has anything local that will affect me.

My "Nextdoor" page.

Take Nextdoor, which I believe is trying to take over the local news market, but boy what an annoying experience. These official local news entries take forever to load and outnumber actual human messages by a ton as they post heat warnings 3 times a day. Granted, the human messages I do see are just embarrassing.

It seems that people on Nextdoor commonly just:

  • Forget how to spell
  • Forget how to act
  • Forget how to use technology

There is one user I'm looking at right now that has posted "813" as comments on 3 posts. That is our area code so what is the intent? Then someone else posts in all caps - "IN NEED OF STORAGE TUBS/BINS WITH LIDS" that just attracts a bunch of laughing emojis presumably because of the all caps.

The problem is Nextdoor seems like a good idea to marry local neighbor chatter with local news, but instead just creates such an annoying experience - I tend not to visit.

If we look now at global news - that has massively changed in comparison to the past as we can get near real time alerts of anything in the world. A storage facility blows up in Beirut and I know about it in extreme detail within minutes, but yet I have no idea why miles of roads are closed right outside my door (turned out testing new natural gas lines).

Perhaps this is because we as of a community are addicted to blood, death and gossip which is trumped at a global level than local. Lets follow as a planet when Natalee Holloway goes missing in Aruba, but turn off the amber alerts for abductions in our city as its inconvenient.

It seems the answer is simple - just pivot to local news. Though who knows if your local news station is just owned by a central organization and fed scripts.

You can see above that you may think local news is in-fact local, but chances are some scripts are from the central organization. So that begs a real question of who decides what your own local news coverage looks like.

I can tell local news changed, because I remember how different it was in Kansas in my childhood. Some local news report were about high school state events to discuss winners or to interview the winners of a science fair. It had more positive stories than constant doom n gloom that it feels like now.

Though, lets look at local news itself as a whole. Chances are even if I had easy access to it at this age and point in time - would I watch it? Probably not as something important enough for me to know would make it to me in some other method.

My guess this is because the world has less time for news, which I think is directly related to how little wages have kept up with products over the last 60 years. I blogged about this in detail about how many burgers you could buy off the dollar menu in 1963 vs 2020.

So if we have near instant access to global news in a divided country with near useless local news. What do we have? Perhaps a constant biased source of news or propaganda over non-television based media, which can eat up any person at a mental level. So until then I'll continue to somewhat ignore news until it pops up on feeds that I watch.

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