Following a suggestion in the Oliver James book Affluenza, I drastically reduced the amount of news I consume. I still seem to learn what are the issues of the day, without being overwhelmed by them. So I liked this quote from Nasim Taleb, via the Long Tail Blog:
"Put wax in your ears. People are more afraid of flying than driving
because the press does not report car accidents. I never watch the
news. Only listen to news you get in a social setting, the things
people talk about. Our brains cannot deal with the overload of
information. Having a lot of data is not good for anyone trying to make
a decision." (originally quoted in the New Scientist Article Risk – not what you think)
One of the things I love most about reading RSS feeds is that I wake to a set of news stories about things I am directly interested in – what friends have been doing, literature, Brighton and so on. It's not perfect, but seems far more relevant than reading a newspaper. The echo-chamber effect even seems lessened since common interests are no guarantee of common politics.