On the way to the dentist, outside the Princeton Ballet School studio, I encountered a distraught dancer. She said she can’t stand to listen to the news but needs to know what’s happening. So — Susan — this is for you.
Keep up with what’s happening without depressing yourself. By limiting your news to weekly reports,.you can safely plug your ears to most of the noise, for the sake of mental stability, and still not miss everything.
Think Progress.org promises to summarize all actions taken in the White House every Friday. The snark content is milder than my Twitter feed. It ends with a delicious segment from Samantha Bee.
Online, Washington Week, even without Gwen Ifill, helps me see the big picture without triggering stress.
Mental stability? Here is a “how to” article on how to achieve it, “Finding Healing and Peace in a Polarized Political Climate.” It’s from the national organization of the United Methodist Church to which I belong.
Many of the same hints come from a just-published blog on Medium, by Mirah Curzer, titled “How to Stay Outraged Without Losing Your Mind: Self Care Lessons for the Resistance.
- Spend a significant amount of time not thinking about Trump and all the work that has to be done. Do not get used to Trump — get away from him.
- If you want to be effective on anything, pick an issue or two that matter most to you and fight for them. Let the others go.
- Resolve to do something small every day, without fail. Play to your strengths. Make activism fun.
- Take care of yourself: exercise, sleep, time with friends, get outside. “Make your bed. Seriously, it takes like two minutes max and makes such a difference.
- Oh, and call your mother, if you can.”
All this said, it’s hard not to check my Twitter feed.
If you don’t subscribe to the Times of Trenton or the Star Ledger or the Bergen Record or any other newspaper that still has a reporter covering the statehouse, do it now. If you aren’t a member of WHYY, with its newsroom at Newsworks, join now. Support Politico’s New Jersey desk. If you can find an independent online investigative reporter in your community, like Planet Princeton, contribute or advertise.
You can march, you can write letters to the editor, you can call your legislators, but you can also help protect our democracy by bolstering the budgets of the investigative reporters trying to combat fraud and lies.
I knew this before but this Wednesday New York Times column italicized my impulse. David W. Chen, who wrote “In New Jersey, Only a Few Media Watchdogs are Left,” used to be bureau chief for the statehouse desk for the New York Times.
The New York Times no longer has a staff reporter covering New Jersey. The number of reporters at the state house has dwindled from 30 to 7.
John Oliver reminds us that social media and TV news mostly just repackage newspaper stories.
Poignant detail #1: The print version of Chen’s article showed two lonely news boxes in downtown Trenton. One was for the Star Ledger, which has coopted the Trenton Times state coverage. The other was for U.S. 1 Newspaper. What?? U.S. 1 covers state politics once in a while, as in this investigative piece,. We cover important issues and the boss sometimes opines in his column, but statehouse reporting — that’s not our mission.
Poignant detail #2: Chen’s ender was a salute to the 87-year-old columnist who uses a typewriter. A colleague converts with the typed page to a PDF, using her cell phone, and emails it in.