This week, there are two very confusing threads of news running through my feeds. The first is the sequester. The other, the elections in Italy.

Navigating politics is like navigating a murky swamp. Unless you’ve been there before, you’re bound to make a mis-step or get lost in the mess.

Luckily, I used to live in Italy and so I can walk myself through the hype and conjecture that runs rampant in the Italian press and straight to the hard news. I also speak American political theater, so I manage just the same with the sequester.

But it’s not easy territory to navigate. Both events have me thinking about how news, especially layered, complex news like budget plans and Italy’s electoral process, get lost in translation, especially through social media and the constant linking to sources as news breaks. Analysis in both cases is lacking as up-to-the-minute updating takes over.

No More Question Marks

If you aren’t mildly confused about the sequester, good for you. Many outlets have focused coverage on breaking it down for readers, but that only does so much good. Other outlets and their columnists seem caught up in the churning out of updates. It’s like trying to follow a 7th grader recounting a drama from the playground. Some writers don’t even seem to be  searching for real facts, or readily accessible plans, opting instead to simply join the peanut gallery. Adult supervision, indeed.

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