Being able to express an opinion—simply just being able to articulate one's self and have those ideas diverge from the injunctions of institutions—is far more important than absorbing a bunch of facts about current events. This is very important in an age where Google finishes what you're saying before you do.
All of the information available through the media has already been computed and shaped by those agencies that collected it in the first place, so approaching the formation of your own, let's say, self-theory from the quantitative approach of commanding a clear recollection of news items is, at best, truly redundant and at worst a way of buttressing your own command of "what's really going on" in the world so that you can badger others into accepting your worldview. You become a thinking man, who thinks for your own self, contrary to the sheepish masses. Thinking for yourself is crucial but not in that way. All of that information isn't inert in the hands of the agencies that announce and tend to it. It is actively working upon billions of minds already. I mean, media institutions are fundamentally business enterprises. You never quite get the information that you want and it always has a reductionist bent to it that aligns with a profit-maximizing filter. Case in point is how the suffering and grief of America over the Sandy Hook massacre works as front page material with Obama's single, manly tear as the crowning image, but the suffering and grief of the Chinese over an extremely similar tragedy isn't even of tertiary value. Even in China itself this is true. http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/china/121217/chinese-reactions-newtown-sandy-hook-henan-school-attack
There's also something far deeper to be said about these media institutions. The current sex scandal in the BBC bears a remarkable likeness to the disrepute of the Catholic clergy. These professional, managerial classes have the same fundamental dysfunction of not being able to discuss how the disciplinary functions they perform facilitate morbid exercises of power and systematic violence, which is important since they seem to have such an awful lot to say about the rest of the world. They have a good, slick hold on the issues of the day but they are shockingly ill equipped to disclose their structural role in class domination. Not much can be gained for the thinking man in the absence of reflecting on one's self.
I'll leave you with this,
“The working class bury their heads, that’s good, they might see the root of things.”