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June 22, 2006


No News Is Good
Study Finds Link Between
Broadcast News And Anxiety

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island, June 22 ... In a recent study at Brown University, researchers turned up startling evidence that regularly watching, reading and/or listening to news broadcasts over a period of time as short as one month can adversely affect your health.

The study, which included subjects from all walks of life who ranged in age from 5 to 85, found that "the more news that test subjects were exposed to, the more likely they were to develop psychological problems that ranged from anxiety and depression to anti-social behavior and uncontrolled outbursts of violence."

"Initially we were surprised at the results," said one researcher, "but we took a hard look at the numbers and there’s no denying that too much news is bad."

To explain this sudden spike in these behavioral problems, the study cites the proliferation of television in general, everyday use of the internet, and the trend towards running text stories across the bottom of the screen while showing other information - such as stock market reports and weather- in combination with a live newscast, as pioneered on the Bloomberg Report.

This last practice, which has come to be known as ‘Bloomberg-ing,’ is the major culprit when it comes to causing confusion, anxiety and even depression in the viewer.

"We found that 24-hour news stations like CNBC, FOX News and CNN have all adopted this overload approach to presenting the news, and for most of the test subjects it was just too much."

The study concludes by recommending that we spend no more than an hour a day getting our news and that we try to read it in an actual newspaper if possible. Listening to hourly news updates on the radio is also a relatively safe way to be informed, but the study strongly cautions against watching any of the all-news networks and limiting television news to one half-hour each of local and international news per day.

It went on to say that we should "avoid the internet and blogs" as sources for news because of the "vast amount of confusing misinformation" that exists on the web. ... (MARTY SHERMAN)

A.) The weatherman said it was going to rain today and he wasn’t lying.
B.) Yeah, it’s pouring out there. Glad I’m inside, high and dry.
C.) Even this is too much news. I’m gonna take a nap.


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