Thursday, March 17, 2011

No Escaping the News

By: Scott Stein, Senior Account Executive, Leonard & Finco Public Relations, Inc.
As a former news reporter, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the major news stories that have recently been grabbing headlines and taking over social media. On one day alone we saw the devastation caused by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Gov. Walker signing the Budget Repair Bill in Wisconsin and the NFL owners moving ahead with a lockout as the players union moved to sue the NFL.

The video from Japan has been heartbreaking. With today’s 24/7 news cycles, social media and technology, we immediately saw the terrible impact of the natural disaster with waves picking up automobiles, crumbling buildings and destroying lives right before our eyes. Add to that the still ever-changing developments with the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and it’s difficult to imagine how parts of Japan will ever recover.

Closer to home, the discourse in Madison continued to grab headlines and draw thousands to the State Capitol weeks after Gov. Walker introduced his Budget Repair Bill. No matter where you stand on the issue, it has been a troubling month for the State of Wisconsin and its citizens and one has to wonder about the long-term impact of the crippling divide of our legislature and our citizens.

When it comes to the NFL, I’m sure some will utter the usual…“It’s only a game.” In some communities that may be true. But in Green Bay, Wisconsin it’s far more than a game. The NFL and the Green Bay packers are big players in the local economy. Yes, it can be difficult to watch the squabbling between billionaire owners and millionaire players, but the impact of a prolonged lockout would be significant for many businesses and individuals in our area. Let’s hope there’s football to talk about when training camp is scheduled to open in late July.

With all of that depressing news hitting last weekend, part of me wanted to leave the newspaper on the porch, turn off the computer to avoid Facebook and Twitter and steer clear of news updates on TV and radio. Escaping to the rink to watch the St. Norbert hockey team earn a berth in the Division III Frozen Four provided a bit of a break, but I was quickly drawn back to these major news items, especially the developments in Japan.

Do you ever find yourself thinking about avoiding the constant onslaught of news? Is that even possible given the continuous barrage of news from so many sources today? Let me know what you think.


Anonymous said...

I usually "tune out" from news for a while on Saturdays. I choose that time to focus on family and friends. It gives me a good reality check as to what is most important.

Because news is 24/7, taking a break also prevents news from becoming "white noise" around me especially when tragedies like the one in Japan happen. Events like that should never be something we forget.

kr said...

I also take most weekends off from watching the news and then play catch up on Mondays. Lets face it, the news is, most of the time, very depressing. Sometimes I think it's in everyone's best interest to take a step back and pay attention to what you can change or make better in your own life.