In a world in which our consumption of news is increasingly polarized and sensational, and disinformation is all too common, how do we combat such unhealthy habits to form a better relationship with the news? And what, after all, is the news even for? What is a particularly Christian mode of engaging and consuming news? In his book, Reading the Times: A Literary and Theological Inquiry Into the News, Jeffrey Bilbro provides a theological, even historical, perspective on the function and impact of the news in our lives, a diagnosis of our problem, and a reframing of how we might construct alternative practices.
Some key concepts and ideas from the book:
- “Macademized minds” (or fragmented attention)
Our attentions are overloaded; we are unable to attend in meaningful ways because there’s too much to attend to.
As a result, presentations of the news become competingly sensational in order to compete for our distracted attention.
Thus, we need to develop better habits for shaping what we give our attention to.Continue reading