Jim captures the essence of why I stopped following local news: it favors the trivial. During college I ended up relying on NPR to keep abreast of things.
But when I stopped commuting, I lost that radio-listening time. Since I'd already taken to RSS feeds for most information streams, I eventually tried adding the BBC and Google News; there's no lack of seemingly important, well-filtered sources. But as I was reminded recently trying to follow the BBC Twitter, I just can't convince myself the news is noteworthy. Like biting my fingernails, drinking cola, or eating meat, time away from the habit dispelled the urge.
I wasn't able to articulate my perspective until Brian did it for me: it may seem important today, but most of the "news" is too transient to matter. Which explains why I can still be bothered with social commentary, the advancement of knowledge, and the just damn interesting.