No news is good news?


Sir, – Margaret Butler finds that saturation coverage of the pandemic tends to “increase the gloom felt by all of us at this dreadful time and achieves nothing” (Letters, September 23rd).

One ought to ration one’s exposure, like butter during a war, to current affairs during a pandemic. There’s an abundance of music, comedy, drama and fiction to be enjoyed on radio, on TV and online. The only “news” I need is news of any changes to the Covid-19 restrictions in my county.

Since March, I’ve had an outright embargo on overseas news and have rationed my consumption of domestic news down to 60 minutes a week. This usually involves 15 minutes of Morning Ireland on a Friday and, naturally, a daily glance at your excellent letters page.

I urge your readers to give it a try. The effect on one’s mental health is transformative. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 18.

Sir, – In my home, a policy has just been implemented of no news programmes. This is something that was very successful during the last recession when doom and gloom were our primary bedfellows. Knowledge is power but sometimes one can know too much. However, fear not. I shall continue to procure my Irish Times on a daily basis! – Yours, etc,



Dublin 9.

Sir, – Margaret Butler suggests something of a moratorium at certain times on the pervasiveness of discussion in the media relating to the pandemic in which we find ourselves.

I don’t agree. The ongoing dissemination of information, views, experience, expertise, and discussion is, in my view, what saves us from a gloom even deeper than that from which she observes many of us are currently suffering.

Information is the only path we have to freedom. Discussion is a corollary of that.

The ultimate freedom which Ms Butler has, of course, is the off-button. In depressing the off-button on Covid-19 news at times of our choosing, we are fortunate to have so many alternatives for every mood, need and interest. A ready example would be the many and wide-ranging podcasts available, of which quite a few are linked to The Irish Times. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 16.