Is 24-hour news a good thing?
In our connected age, we always know what’s going on around the world.
We live during the most interconnected time in human history. We can find out about news from the other side of the world in the blink of an eye, and television networks, websites and social media report it to us constantly. It hasn’t always been this way though. In 1922, the BBC began broadcasting the news on the radio. Before this, people kept up to date by reading a daily newspaper. The 20th century saw a massive increase in the supply of news, with journalists stationed around the globe reporting on events. The process was made even easier with the internet. Now, journalists can share what’s happening with the click of a button. Do we need to be kept so up to date, or is all this information making us anxious?
Yes – 24-hour news keeps us informed
With news being reported all day, every day, we can instantly see events taking place in countries thousands of miles away as well as those that are happening closer to home. Though they may be far away, seeing and hearing about people’s experiences as they happen makes their problems more real and relatable. Also, 24-hour news is useful: people lead busy lives, so it’s a benefit to be able to pick it up when and where we can – whether glancing at the headlines on phones, reading stories online or watching 24-hour news channels. Because it’s rolling constantly, we can see stories develop as they unfold. There’s also plenty of time for a variety of experts with different opinions.
No – 24-hour news makes people anxious
Because the same news stories are being told over and over again each day, it can sometimes feel like the news is all bad. Wars, famine and natural disasters are always in the headlines, and constant exposure to these traumatic events can make it seem as though nothing is going well. This isn’t true. Research shows that we’re currently living in the most peaceful time in human history. Also, 24-hour news can be misleading; in a rush to break new stories, journalists don’t give them time to develop, and sometimes they make mistakes. The need to fill 24 hours with news can lead to stories being sensationalised to keep people interested, too.
People just feel anxious with 24-hour news.
Broadcasters work around the clock.