Developing a Healthy Media Diet

I used to turn on the news when I got out of the shower in the morning and consume it with breakfast. I don’t do that anymore. Instead, after showering, I spend some time in quiet meditation thanking my creator, for the gift of a new day and and asking for guidance on how to be of service to our mother earth and those I will meet this day. That usually takes about a half hour. Then I sit down for breakfast. Sometimes I meditate before my shower giving me more time to peacefully glide into a new day.

After breakfast I head to my computer and that’s when the confusion starts. What should I do first—read Facebook, check my email, go to Twitter or do some writing? As of today, I don’t have a healthy routine or a comfortable answer to that question, and hence this post. I’m hoping your will share your experience.

Jihil Jolly in an August 20, 2014 article How to establish a media diet suggests we ask ourselves three things when consuming news:

  1. Why am I consuming this news?
  2. What is the most effective way for me to consume news?
  3. Do I want to act on this news?

These questions along with Lara Setrakian January 2017 TED Talk above: We have to resist the temptation to use fear for ratings suggests media has some responsibilities here. Lara presents three simple steps that the media need to do:

  1. Learn from people on the ground
  2. A hypocratic oath for reporters to “Do no harm:
  3. Embrace complexity

She also suggests that, realizing media’s obsession with ratings, we can play our little part in making them responsive by first, identifying those who present facts, follow them, rewarding them with the ratings they seek. At the same time, we can stop listening to fear mongers denying them the ratings they so desperately need to continue in business.

Maybe you’ve already answered these questions for yourself. If you have any suggestions of good news sources, or of answers to Ms. Jolly’s questions above, please share by commenting below.

Dan O'Donnell
Dan O’Donnell

Dan O’Donnell, a layman has covenanted with the Chicago Community. In addition to the standard covenant, Dan promises to work at connecting all partners known and unknown, to a conscious following the the way of Jesus, the way of the cross which Dan believes transforms all failure, democratizing the human journey

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Tell Your Story/Listen to Mine

Coming home from a political rally downtown I wondered to myself if there was any hope. Can we as a country ever come together? Can we stop our verbal attacks on each other just long enough to listen for a moment? How can we as Max Ehrmann suggests in his Desiderata “Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.” A possible answer came when I later watched and listened to Deeyah Khan’s April 2016 What we don’t know about Europe’s Muslim kids.

Deeyah has received awards for her documentary films and is the founder of Fuse, a company that gets minorities to tell their stories. Deyah’s story which she shares above is moving and truly for those of us that think in those terms, the Way of the Cross today. She also shares her discovery that the perpetrators of violence are themselves wounded persons and that if we are ever to move beyond more violence, we must learn to listen and understand.

In her TEDxExeter talk she quotes the African proverb: “If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth.” While Deeyah is addressing the Muslim community, she could just as well be addressing Chicago, the Catholic Church, the schools…. We must she insists learn to relate and understand each other and listen to our young.

I believe the answer to my initial question, can we ever come together is—yes. We can if we come together to tell your stories and just as important listen to others’ stories with the same compassion we hope to receive when we tell ours.

Dan O'Donnell
Dan O’Donnell

Dan O’Donnell, a layman has covenanted with the Chicago Community. In addition to the standard covenant, Dan promises to work at connecting all partners known and unknown, to a conscious following the the way of Jesus, the way of the cross which Dan believes transforms all failure, democratizing the human journey