Why I don’t read newspapers


I don’t usually read the papers. Or even keep up with current affairs. In general I’m pretty out of touch with what’s going on in the world.

But yesterday I bought the weekend papers. I’m on holidays, and thought it’d be nice to catch up on world events. What a mistake!

Nothing but page after page of depressing economic, political and social doom and gloom.

As I read the articles I continued on, telling myself it was important to have an understanding of what the struggles and problems facing us are. You know, reality.

But then I started wondering what actual benefit this knowledge was going to bring. Would I change any of my behaviours? Probably not. Would I be able to contribute anything more to society now that I had a more informed view? Again, I don’t think so.

Instead, I’m left feeling down, worried about our finances, concerned for people in all parts of the world, and most of all, incredibly helpless. My only change in behaviour is that I’ll probably complain to other people about it (ie this post).

So now I’m convinced that my usual strategy is better. Ignorance is bliss. I’d rather be a mis-guided optimist than an informed pessimist.


  • Wish you a good day, Craig. I’m writing to you from India).

    Thanks for sharing your insightful reflections, Craig. I understand your predicament and share your anguish. There was a time when I was addicted to ‘news’, but now not so. Often, I go without checking out ‘news’ on the Net. Maybe those days I feel better. Sometimes, I take a quick peek at one or more ‘news’ websites. Of course, most of it is depressing–negative stuff. But at the same time I sometimes locate some positive stories, which can be heartening and inspiring. I often send out links to such positive stories on a list that I run (for positive interfaith-related news etc.). I try to skip the negative stories and focus on the positive stories, if any,

    So, take the good and leave the bad in the ‘news’ (as in many other things)—I think that this maybe a more sensible strategy than (1) consuming every bit of news (including the garbage), and (2) boycotting ‘news’ totally.

    God bless you.

By Craig Bailey