My news diet for 2019

With a new year upon us, I’ve been reflecting on the news that I consume. I originally referred to this as my “media diet”, but that’s pretty broad and I’m not ready to reflect on movies, television, or music at this point.

Print

I subscribe to two weekly magazines, The Economist and The Guardian Weekly and I’m happy with both of them, even if I don’t always have time to read cover to cover.

I’ll often read both from back to front, mostly because I enjoy the book reviews more than letters to the editor. It may also help to know how long a piece is going to be before getting started on it. 🤷🏼‍♂️

I’ve tried subscribing to local daily newspapers a couple times since moving to Pullman, but each time delivery was less than stellar and, when it was working, I often ended up with piles of unread papers. I would love to get a Sunday subscription to The Seattle Times or The New York Times, but no delivery is available in our area for either.

I may add a subscription to The Week, but I’m still getting familiar with their content online.

Digital

I don’t want to get my news from Twitter because Twitter makes it seem like everything is news.

A sentence from an unpublished 2017 draft on this website. 🙂

A couple times a day I’ll sit down and decide to read some news from good old-fashioned home pages. This is a newer development for me after I refactored how I use Twitter last year. Starting at the home page seems like a decent strategy for approaching news without an algorithm. Naive?

I have folders in my browser’s bookmarks bar for “Reads (News)”, “Reads (More)”, and “Reads (Longer)” that I’ll work my way through with intent or at random.

I’ll start with The Guardian most often, then the The New York Times, and then a quick mix between The Daily Beast and FiveThirtyEight. Every once and a while I substitute The Washington Post for one of the above. More recently I’ve spent time on Politico and have tried to introduce that as more of a near-daily thing. Even more recently I’ve followed a strategy via my Dad and check in on Fox News from time to time.

Of all these, I’m only a paid subscriber to The Guardian and The New York Times.

Once or twice a week I’ll check in on Washington State specific news and cycle through Crosscut, The Stranger, The Seattle Times, and The Spokesman-Review. Very recently, High Country News, which covers the general West, hit my radar and I’ve added it to my trawl.

I don’t support any of these regional publications financially and I should change that in 2019.

Much less frequently I’ll poke at Paper, The Walrus, and The Outline.

And then finally, when I’m futzing around on the weekend, I’ll browse through The New York Review of Books, London Review of Books, and Arts & Letters Daily to try and find gateways to inspiring books and bits.

Objectives

Why read all of these things? That’s a good question.

In general, I want to understand and be aware of my community, region, country, world, etc… One actionable step I should take here is to also reflect on what to do with this knowledge once I have it.

From that first objective, I should be aware of people and causes I can support.

The more I read books, the more I want to read books. Many of the above publications have led me to good books.

And last, but not least: I want to win future trivia contests. 😎 (One day I may also add crossword puzzles to that list.)

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