In a recent post, Seth Godin lists twelve things that are typical of almost all news programmes on television - and aren't they familiar. (Which is why I don't watch much television news.)
Regrettably, almost all of the same twelve points can be typical of any group that's stuck in a certain mindset....some church organisations, for example, where emotional reaction is more important than careful thought.
- Focus on the urgent instead of the important.
- Vivid emotions and the visuals that go with them as a selector for what's important.
- Emphasis on noise over thoughtful analysis.
- Unwillingness to reverse course and change one's mind.
- Xenophobic and jingoistic reactions (fear of outsiders).
- Defense of the status quo encouraged by an audience self-selected to be uniform.
- Things become important merely because others have decided they are important.
- Top down messaging encourages an echo chamber (agree with this edict or change the channel).
- Ill-informed about history and this particular issue.
- Confusing opinion with the truth.
- Revising facts to fit a point of view.
- Unwillingness to review past mistakes in light of history and use those to do better next time.