As everyone knows I am not a fan of news, I find it a noisy distraction from actually getting on with life. However, I have another reason for not liking the news and it is simply that it does not in any way represent the reality of the majority of peoples lives for the majority of the time. Television news is little more than a series of breathless under ’30s rabbitting on about something that may or may not be of consequence but is most definitely probably an outlier event in most peoples lives. All of this is overseen by a fat middle-aged white bloke acting as the anchor and bookended by young well-endowed women trying to sell me the weather.
The consequence of this is that it presents a distorted view of reality particularly in terms of the threats we face – most of which are actually existential in nature. Consider the graphic below from Our World in Data
You can see that there is a disconnect between what kills us, what we Google might kill us and what the news tells us will kill us. You will notice that terrorism occupies approximately a third of the coverage by both the New York Times and The Guardian yet it doesn’t even rate in the real world statistics of mortality. I would posit that more people die from heart attacks associated with thinking about terrorism in the West than actually die from terrorism.
What you are told is important is vastly different from what actually is important.