If you watch the news, you won’t be shocked to learn that it’s designed to compete for your anxiety
The Problem: TV news executives decided that the only way to get and hold an audience – and therefore turn a profit – is by framing everything in terms of conflict, outrage and negativity.
In short, fear sells.
The Impact: Framing news only in terms of conflict stresses audiences out, shuts down learning, fosters polarization, and feeds apathy. All of this counters the very reason the free press is protected in the US: to ensure we have an informed electorate that actively participates in our democracy.
My Epiphany: I spent 17 years working in TV news, and by the end of that time I had learned an important lesson. The TV news model is really good at generating anxiety and money, but a large part of the audience wants something else.
This is me reporting from the press file near the Bush ranch in Crawford, Texas in 2006.
The Alternative: So in 2018, I founded News Not Noise to cover the news differently. I launched on Instagram, making videos and posting stories that broke down major events with context and clarity, and identifying the noise you can ignore. It took off and grew into a super-engaged community of like-valued people. You can find it on Instagram @JessicaYellin.
New Home: Now we’re moving our newsletter and patreon audience to one site: substack. This lets you access News Not Noise’s more in depth content, without making any of us beholden to a social media algorithm. Don’t worry, we’ll still be on Instagram, but you can find us here too.
Here, you’ll get more. More context. More sources. More clarity. (Also less punditry, less fearmongering, and most importantly, less noise.)
The News Not Noise Promise: We will help you separate the news you need from the outrage you can ignore. We will explain the information that matters, clearly and in context.We will define insider jargon and bring you insight from experts, not pundits.We will never demand your emotional energy to stir empty indignation.We aspire to be your most trusted source of information about consequential issues of the day.We will deliver this information in a way that leaves you feeling calm, confident, and empowered to act.
News Not Noise is supported by this community. We separate the news you need from the outrage you can ignore here and across social media. Both free and paid subscriptions are available. The best way to support this work is by taking out a paid subscription.
We will continue to offer our newsletter three days a week: on Monday and Wednesday, we cover the biggest news, and sometimes point out the noise. Yes, that means Elon Musk, SBF and occasionally Taylor Swift. On Friday, we bring you News That Doesn’t Suck: stories that inspire awe, curiosity and laughter.
Now we’ll ask you to support this work if you can. Mondays will be free. To get the full newsletter the rest of the week requires a subscription. (It’s been a long time coming. Thank you to our Patreon audience who have kept us going until now.)
Some of our goals in the year ahead:
Develop new strategies to keep you calm while engaging with the news.
Offer new resources to help you navigate difficult conversations.
Identify our trusted sources for all the topics you care about – and which sources we don’t use.
Build community features so many of you have asked for.
Experiment with new offerings off Instagram – including video and audio – here.
To our subscribers, thank you for your support to date. We would not have built this amazing community without your endless engagement, encouragement, and sharing. We can’t wait to keep building with you here.
Why Should You Trust Me?
I’m an Emmy, Peabody, and Gracie Award-winning political correspondent. I was Chief White House Correspondent for CNN during the Obama administration and covered Congress and national elections for CNN before that. From 2004-2007 I covered the Bush White House at ABC News, primarily for Good Morning America. And I worked at MSNBC during its more conservative days – anyone else remember when it was called “America’s News Channel” and had a big American flag for its logo? Just me? In the year 2000, I was a local news reporter for WTVT-13 in Tampa, and I covered the nail-biting 2000 recount from Tallahassee. I got my start in TV news at CFN-13 in Orlando where I was a one-man-band reporter, meaning I shot and edited my own video in addition to reporting the story everyday. My writing has been published in the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, and my first novel, Savage News, is available now.
Bona fides aside, I care about delivering information, not a panic attack. I want to help you understand and process the news so you can make informed and empowered decisions. And I prioritize bringing you News That Doesn’t Suck too, to bring you balance and a reminder that there are breakthroughs, progress and solutions in the news, too.
If that’s not enough for you to subscribe, I have an insanely cute dog named Bruno who makes regular cameos in the News Not Noise Letter. The first rule of the News Not Noise Club: we DO talk about Bruno.
We want to leave you with a better understanding of the truth and facts so you can make smart decisions about your world. Our goal: to give you information, not a panic attack.
Welcome to the community. We’re so glad you’re here.