Breaking news by Luc De Leeuw. Used under a CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0 licence.

12 Questions to Ask When Watching the News

[author-compact title=”About the Author”] News media play a significant role in the everyday lives for most of us, and we need to actively engage with it. If we don’t, we fail to appreciate the demanding and significant work of the journalists. Nor do we become critically aware of the explicit angles and the underlying perspectives in the news. The following set of critical questions will help us reflect carefully when watching, reading or listening to the news, whether global, regional, national or local. If you apply such questions as these consistently, engaging the news become increasingly meaningful!

  1. To what extent do the various news items engage you, interest you and captivate you? Why?
  2. What themes, issues and conflicts are represented in the selected stories? Why do you think those have been chosen?
  3. Which of the stories are highlighted as major news? How and why?
  4. Which sources and interviewees have been selected in the major stories (as far as we can tell from the published news)? Why do you think those persons have been selected?
  5. Which perspectives and angles have been chosen in the editorial introductions, the actual interviews and in the graphic presentations? Why do you think these journalistic and editorial decisions have been made?
  6. With whom(if anyone) do you identify in the major news stories? Why?
  7. Would you describe the major news stories as essential and important? Why, or why not?
  8. What kind of essential areas, topics and perspectives are missing in these news stories, if any? Why? To what extent may this be representative for the news industry?
  9. What kind of professional and personal values do you discover among the journalists in the major news stories? To what extent, and why, do you identify with these values?
  10. If the Christian faith, Christian organizations or Christian individuals are covered in the news stories, how are these portrayed? Why?
  11. To what extent did the stories leave you with a sense of involvement, hope, excitement, indifference, despair – or maybe with a mixture of such feelings? Why?
  12. How do a classical Christian view of humanity and the world help us to understand the wider context of the major news stories?

Photo credit: Luc De Leeuw. Used under a CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0 licence.

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