The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Aug 14, 2011

How much "Comfort News" is in your information diet?

Posted by Eric Newton

Today's Miami Herald has a piece I wrote on the dangers of "Comfort News."

Here's how it starts:

"We the people are fat. So much so medical experts have declared an epidemic and declared costs to this nation of untold billions. But there’s an even bigger epidemic out there, less obvious but no less dangerous. Just as we consume comfort food, our high-calorie midnight ice creams, we are, more and more, consuming 'comfort news.' "

Comfort News is politics, entertainment or other kinds of  news that is more opinion than fact. It tastes great but isn't really that good for you -- or for society. 

The piece is based on a speech I gave earlier this year at the University of Nebraska.

Read the full article here.

(Eric Newton, senior adviser to the president at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, writes and speaks on journalism and media issues.)


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