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Jakarta Post

Commentary: What we talk about when we talk about news

  • Nezar Patria

    Chief editor of The Jakarta Post, member of Press Council (2013-2019)

  /   Sat, February 8 2020   /  12:14 am

Does “news” as we know it today still have value? Rolf Dobelli, a Swiss critical thinker, says he stopped reading the news 10 years ago. What an unpleasant message for journalists, more so for the media industry. For almost two centuries journalism has helped shape, or at least interpret, the modern world through newspapers, radio, television, and now, the internet. Yet Dobelli says the news nowadays is merely a “disease” to the brain, causing two negatives. First, reading the news only trains our brain “to skim, to surf, to digest very quickly and not go deep”, as he writes in his just released book Stop Reading the News. Second, news content tends to be mostly negative, which causes chronic stress, maybe similar to the impact of sugar on our blood. Dobelli’s proposition may be irritating to media companies, especially the leaders joining National Press Day celebrations th...