But finally, I’d like to argue that following the news isn’t just a waste of time, it’s actively unhealthy. Edward Tufte notes that when he used to read the New York Times in the morning, it scrambled his brain with so many different topics that he couldn’t get any real intellectual work done the rest of the day.
The news’s obsession with having a little bit of information on a wide variety of subjects means that it actually gets most of those subjects wrong. (One need only read the blatant errors reported in the corrections page to get some sense of the more thorough-going errors that must lie beneath them. And, indeed, anyone who has ever been in the news will tell you that the news always gets the story wrong.) Its obsession with the criminal and the deviant makes us less trusting people. Its obsession with the hurry of the day-to-day makes us less reflective thinkers. Its obsession with surfaces makes us shallow.
— Aaron Swartz on the news. FWIW, C.S. Lewis also didn’t care much for news.