Primetime News

“I’m going to stop watching the news broadcast. Damn it all!” Bill retorted, thumping his fist on the table. The remote controller shrieked in pain as he picked it, veins running down his grip. His thumbs stumped on the buttons and the screen went black.

“What gives? I was watching that.” Sam protested as he snatched the controller from Bill and brought the screen back to life.

“Why do you insist on watching the news broadcast every time, only to complain after about the state of things in the country? It’s too much negativity, man,” started Bill. “It’s always the same kind of stories every time. Who murdered who, what the weather did where, what got robbed, which group of people are currently suffering, and then to top it all off, which politician is doing what and where. And it’s usually far from what they were elected to do.”

“No, Bill, you can’t shade your rusty old torch on the whole matter and expect bright white LED light bouncing off it. It’s simply how you choose to look at it,” remarked Sam. “The news broadcast serves to inform and sometimes educate the public on the current happenings within its coverage. Unfortunately, madmen whose Frankenstein showed up in their feat of rage and decided to commit atrocious acts seem to be more in demand by the viewers as opposed to Snow White tales. It is still a demand and supply business at the end of the day.”

“But that’s exactly my point. It’s not really about informing and educating the masses. It’s only informing to the extent that they let you know about a murder that you hadn’t heard about. But it’s not the advertised objective, unadulterated, and transparent news, is it? From watching a broadcast, you get the idea that there are too many mad people living amongst us, and the country is literally burning down.”

“Well, aren’t there? I’ve seen you do some mad things too if you ask me.”

“Really now? In as much as the information they give you might be factual, there is no law as to how they are to present this information. For instance, when the first four pieces are all horrific tales of murder, it creates a particular sequence and impression in your mind that lays precedence. The picture is already painted for you psychologically whether the next news items are pleasant or not.”

“What you need to do is get all these canvasses and paints out of your mind. You can’t also fault the order of the news pieces all on account of you need an ice cream break from harsh and brutal stories that leave a bad taste in your mouth. They do also post positive, Cinderella-themed stories, if that’s what you need.”

“There are as many positive happenings going on around us, if not more. But due to wallet demands, these 5th estate guys majorly post the negative ones. It’s just too much negativity to go by. There is always another reason to hate our leaders every day. These news guys are the real instigators of coups.”

“Now you’re just playing judge, wading in waters you can’t swim in. Let alone in your judicial robe. You are veering off course by questioning the freedom of the media. How else are we to keep track and hold accountable the leaders of the day? The media goes out to look for information on what these guys are doing or the lack thereof and report back with eye-opening information. This is the same information we will use to make informed decisions come ballot day.”

“Anyway, I’m not saying there are no benefits to what the media airs out. I might have slipped off my train of thought a little bit. But what I’m really trying to ask is whether watching and following up on news broadcasts daily is healthy for your mental space? Isn’t it harmful to religiously show up every day before your screen to receive a dose of negativity that frequently? No wonder a lot of guys ask what’s there to love about the country. Their view is tainted by the excessive consumption of negative vibes.”

First published on Medium @mbatiawrites

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