Watching the news is one of the activities that keep us informed and in touch with the world around us. Aside from primetime dramas and sporting events, television newscasts most probably huddle people (particularly families) together while they eat their dinner, have their coffee, etc. Newscasts, as I see them, are a part of our culture that generations can be classified by those who grew up watching RPN 9's Newswatch and those who identify with Noli de Castro's "Ti-veeeeeeeey Patrol!". From breakfast to dinner, and even before bedtime, television newscasts accompany us.
I've observed, somehow, that when it comes to watching news—especially when we're with other people—it seems that we're responding to the news instead of listening to the news. I think an ethics in watching the news is helpful for such a circumstance, especially with respect to concerned and socially-aware individuals who want to know know and then digest the news.
My suggestions are plain simple:
1. Listen to the news
Keep quiet. Be silent when watching the news. Listening to the report is as much important as watching it. How could we (and others with us) understand the issue or report when anyone of us instantly blurt out our personal comments? Worse, the news item is just being introduced, the headline is just being read, and yet we comment instantly (and sometimes the newscasters do).
We don't know the details yet at that time, so we better know the story in full. Keep the comments to yourself. Leave it for later. No wonder commentaries (if there are any) are placed before the newscast ends. Check out TV Patrol or The World Tonight for what I mean.
And thankfully there are commercial breaks. Probably that's a good time to let the comments out, and hopefully for a discussion surrounding that comment begin.
Just to reiterate the aforementioned ethic,
2. Pay attention
Just pay attention. Let the newscaster talk to you. Let the reporter give you the details. They are dedicated to informing you about what their newsroom thinks is important for you to know, and they are paid for that. So, let them speak.
Don't crowd the noise made by news by other noises from comments. Sometimes, though, reactions are unavoidable. But after that, may we hush and pay attention?
3. Application of rules 1 and 2 depends on the items
In other words, discern what you will pay attention to and digest.
It depends on you, but I really hope you will pay attention to what's really important for you to know. News services are there to tell us what we need to know, but one way or another that isn't followed. So, choose a good source.
Following such ethics is not easy to do. It is, I believe, a habit for us to develop. Even I tend and have reacted and commented instead of listening to the details. But as much as I can, I stay put to know the news, that I may digest them and make sense of them as an individual living with other individuals who are as much affected by such news as I am, although probably in different degrees.
It has taken a blog post to tell you simple things. And this time I will type them for you to remember: Listen to the news. Pay attention. Digest thereafter. Comment later.
What do you think? Do you agree? Give a comment, if you may.