I tell people that if it's in the news, don't worry about it. The very definition of "news" is "something that hardly ever happens." It's when something isn't in the news, when it's so common that it's no longer news -- car crashes, domestic violence -- that you should start worrying.
This quote from Bruce Schneier prompted me to start seriously considering my media consumption as it relates to news, world and local. Suffering from news fatigue (though I'm still interested in almost news), I would like to turn off the radio, so to speak. I don't want to stop being entertained and informed. I just want an end to the treadmill of "breaking news" (which used to mean "something new and important is happening" and not "we have new information about an old story" or "an old story that we're working on is still happening".
Here's what I'd had to avoid in order to avoid the news:
pretty much all of TV (those damn 1-minute news during commercial breaks would ruin non-news programs) but esp. 5-7 PM on CBS/NBC/ABC. All of CNN and CBC Newsworld.
Facebook altogether (people re-report the news in their Facebook status). I'm not against new information that my friends provide about themselves. That's great! I like my friends!
most of Twitter, esp. trending topics. Many people rebroadcast news, either in the form of a link to the news item, or in the form of commentary without mentioning the specific event (prompting me to look up what they're talking about)
busy subway stations
Metro, 24 Hrs and other free dailies have operatives at the entrances handing out copies
people leave copies on their seats or the ground
anywhere there's a newspaper box, to the extent that you would have to plan your walking route around them
open data project mapping all the newspaper boxes?
remember that episode of Da Vinci's City Hall when the mayor removed all the newspaper boxes in protest of something. He can do that?!
convenience or grocery stores
fast food restaurants (which usually have newspapers lying around)
many (probably not most) blogs. Definitely popular ones, though, since they tend to rebroadcast big news.
Amy Qualls-McClure's personal media blackout
Information Diet: A Case for Conscious Consumption by Clay Johnson. (I'd lend you the book if I owned the physical copy or if Lendle worked for Canadians.)
Matt Cutts of Google undertook a 30-day challenge of no news
Max Novendstern wonders why we bother reading the news
Joel Gascoigne avoided the news for two years and has no regrets
Evan Williams: "News in general doesn’t matter most of the time, and most people would be far better off if they spent their time consuming less news and more ideas that have more lasting import. Even if it’s fiction, it’s probably better most of the time.”
The Breaking News Consumer's Handbook with a handy guide you can print out and tape next to your computer or TV.
The power of ignoring mainstream news by James Clear
Alain de Botton asks What's the point of news?
Paper newspapers always pile up at the corner of the table where I work and eat. Shu Kuge on news and anger.
Some good tweets about breaking news:
Counterpoints (arguments specifically addressing avoiding paying attention to the news):
Madeleine Bunting: Rolf Dobelli's ideas about not needing news are dangerous