Mar 8, 2013

Who knew news could be interesting?

When I was preparing to come to Ethiopia, I expected to do a lot of reading.  I downloaded a bunch of free ebooks to read in Word and podbooks through iTunes. And then I got a Kindle as a going away gift and downloaded a bunch of free books from Amazon. And then I meet the other Peace Corps volunteers and we got to file sharing and I probably have more than 3K books to read.

But the thing is, I'm not reading nearly as much as I expected. I'm behind on my Goodread's goal of 50 for the year. 

Instead, I've found myself watching a lot of stuff on my laptop.  Movies, TV shows, even a random collection of YouTube videos a friend's family sent on a flashdrive.  Kay, did some writing too. All the stories I'm writing for the A-Z challenge this year are intense.

One of the shows I've really fallen in love with is The Newsroom.  It's a new HBO show that popped out during one of my trainings.  It didn't really sound too interesting, who wanted to watch a show about the workings behind the 9 oclock news? But then you heard about people staying up till 3 am watching it and I had to give it a shot.

I finished the entire season (there's only one) in a day.  Granted, I have more free time than the rest of you, but that's pretty quick compared to other shows I've watched here.

The funny thing is I can't put my finger on what made it so addicting. The premise is just as dull to say as when I first heard it - behind the scenes at a newsroom.  And it's not like I was introduced to new information. The news stories covered in the show are the same that showed up in USA news within the past couple of years.

But here's the thing, The Newsroom taught me more about those events than the actual news in the States did.

Part of the reason for that is that this show recognizes the drawbacks of the American news system. It's pushed by views because that gets advertising. Fluff pieces are popular, stories are still broadcasted even after all relevant information has passed, nothing is given straight, and you have to watch what you say.  In retaliation, this news crew decides to do the news and nothing but the news. It's this drama with how to determine if something is truly newsworthy, producing a good show, and not pissing off the bank rollers that really kept me glued to the screen. Plus, you've got a bit of personal drama as well.

But don't take my word for it. Here's the first few minutes of the first episode.


  1. Hubby has been watching The Newsroom. I loved the premise (and The West Wing) but I didn't have the time to watch myself - I'll wait until he inevitably acquires it and watch it then!

  2. I hadn't heard of the show, but--having become an avid series watcher in the last couple of years--I'll definitely look for it. Sounds interesting, especially after all the hulaballoo of newscasters last year. Thanks for the recommendation!

  3. Oh, and P.S.--I'm really looking forward to your A-Z stories this year :)