A product of “news” is fear

Jerry Graham of Santa Cruz Style offers advice to help people overcome the fear generated by the cable news networks. It reminded my of the oldest essay posted here — one I wrote in 1998 upon leaving the news business: The Lizard on America’s Shoulder.

Graham’s point could easily be expanded to include local news. As I wrote in “Lizard,” by the time you add together all the spot news events from the multiple counties and municipalities that make up a news market, the net impact on the individual viewer is skewed and joltingly fearful. Internet technology will help this by enabling users to filter out the emotional — but irrelevant — crime stories from places 60 miles away.

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