How much “Comfort News” is in your information diet?

Journalism / Article

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‚Äôs 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.

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