Editorial: Don’t enjoy the news? Rethink your motivation

Symphonic Wind Band to play during homecoming concert
September 30, 2022
Column: Gratitude
September 30, 2022

Editorial: Don’t enjoy the news? Rethink your motivation

Why don’t people enjoy following the news? Obvious reasons come to mind, like the fact that a lot of mainstream news reporting tends to amplify polarization and focus on negative events. However, the deeper problem comes from our concept of news.

According to the Media Insight Project, 79% of young Americans get news daily, but only 32% enjoy it.

In addition to the dominance of parti- san news and abundant negativity, another factor accounts for many people’s disike for the news: it creates an emotional burden. The world is always about to end, we are told. Sometimes it seems like it actually will.

Some people respond by simply ignoring the news altogether, but that fuels ignorant opinions based on fragmentary factoids trickling in from friends, fueling even further polarization.

Other people throw out mainstream news and read only the news outlets that buttress their beliefs, but that ingrains blind biases.

Others seek out a variety of news sources to find balance, but that takes time.

Others emotionally detach from news, but that erases our empathy for others.

We at The Collegian believe that we can best engage with the news by minding our own business. Minding our own business doesn’t mean only caring about ourselves. Definitely not. Selfishness is unbiblical and unloving.

However, Solomon warned people not to get involved in other people’s matters. “He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears” (Proverbs 26:17). Paul said to live a simple life undistracted by busybody behaviors. “And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you” (1 Thessalonians 4:11).

So why read the news? We should follow news when it helps us better love those around us.

Local news is often the most relevant. It helps community members learn about needs and opportunities immediatly around them. Reading The Collegian, for example, can help students follow the events that affect the lives of their friends and professors.

Beyond The Collegian (about which we are a little biased), other news issues can become our business as we make it such.

Passionate about pro-life issues? Follow the developments and then volunteer, donate, babysit and maybe even adopt.

Burdened for world missions? Adopt a region and learn about the spiritual and physical needs there, then pray, give and maybe even go.

Aspiring to use technology to improve quality of life? Read about the latest gad- gets and then get involved in putting them to good use.

When we hear about a natural disaster devastating a city, a war uprooting refugees from their homes and families or a school shooting traumatizing families, we should not merely empathize for a few moments or change our profile picture temporarily. We should move into action by praying, volunteering and donating.

When we focus on our own business, we will see that reading the news becomes an opportunity to fulfill the second-greatest commandment: to love our neighbors as ourselves.

We need to realize that reading the news is not inherently valuable. It is only valuable as it enables us to better love and serve others.