It is true that one probably needs to be pretty far along to watch the news. It helps if you already know the subject that they will be covering. Sometimes I will have trouble with a topic if I know nothing about it, I just can't get a handle on the subject, the announcer assumes that you already know who this person is and why this is news. Easier to understand news about the USA because you already understand the USA and its politics.
Similarly, if you watch the telenovela every week, it will be easier to understand than if you just pick one at random, and have to come up to speed on the characters.
The hardest of all is radio news. No visual cues. You will hear about two sentences on one subject, and then they switch to a different subject in a different country!
Ultimately, it comes down to your own taste. I don't like children's programs because of the cutsy accents that some characters use. Sometimes on the cartoons they use electronic distortion which makes understanding difficult.
Occasionally I will hear low-bit-rate audio on the internet or even on XM radio, which ends up being kind of distorted, so hard to understand.
Lots of factors play into your ability to understand a particular program.
One thing to look for is internet video. The advantage is that you can play it back multiple times until you understand it.
Ultimately, it is whatever works for you. Try different things.