When Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began, Daniel Burke felt overwhelmed by the pace of the news cycle.
“The images and the stories, particularly about young children and schools … being bombarded [were overwhelming.] I have young kids and I felt pretty deeply affected by these stories,” Burke told Sojourners. “The way we make news these days … it’s like a firehose … it’s really easy to become overwhelmed.”
Burke, a former religion editor at CNN and contributing editor at Tricycle, is not alone in feeling overwhelmed. Forty-two percent of people in the U.S. will “sometimes or often actively avoid the news,” according to a 2022 Reuters Institute and University of Oxford report, and nearly half of those respondents said they felt the news had a negative effect on their mood.
Yet the majority of people in the U.S. — 81 percent — say that news is “critical” or “very important” for democracy, according to Gallup and the Knight Foundation. This can be especially true for Christians who follow 20th century theologian Karl Barth’s adage to “take your Bible and take your newspaper, and read both. But interpret newspapers from your Bible.”
If God is calling us to build more just communities, we are first called to know what is happening in those communities — and for that, we often need the work of journalists. But engaging news should not come at the expense of one’s mental health and emotional wellbeing. Here’s how engaging the news can be a personally and societally beneficial process.
- Category : Health & Beauty Items