To say that I consume a lot of information is like saying the pope is Catholic. You could even say it’s a borderline addiction for me. So, the other day, I was curious to quantify exactly how much I’m regularly consuming and to analyze the sources.
You might not believe this but the following list represents over 2 years of list-whittling. I used to consume a lot (A LOT) more “leftie,” “commie,” “pinko” news but it always left me feeling frustrated, helpless and much like the American psychie, self-centered. Eventually, I found what is going on in the world—writ large—far more interesting. Obviously, I travel a lot so I “need” to know what it going on throughout the world; but I also find that much/many of the problems across the continents are variations on a theme from some other place or time.
What this list accomplishes (for me) is to provide multiple opinions on hot topics, to discover important stories not covered by our corporately-controled major media sources, and to try and see what is going on through the eyes of the 6,973,738,433 OTHER people on this planet; a 30,000 foot view, if you like.
Here are my daily “go to” sources for news; in no particular order. I mostly watch them after they’ve been recorded on my TiVo so that I can skip anything that is redundant to me. Though, most are available on their respective websites when I need to stream them while on the road.
PBS NewsHour – I almost never hear of people talking about the amazing programs that are available FREE on PBS. Some people say it leans “left” but I feel that it leans “intellectual.” They almost always present two contrasting opinions to help you fully understand the issues.
Charlie Rose – If you do nothing else, you MUST watch Charlie Rose daily. Enough said!
RT News – This is a new program for me. Some of the anchors are, err…. less than….errr…. Let’s just say I watch it becuase they really do cover things that almost none of my “regular” news sources do. I need to wear my tin-hat-filter when watching sometimes but I learn a lot from watching.
Jon Stewart– If you know me at all, you know that I love to laugh and adore sarcasm. Besides finding a way to make pitiful news seem funny, the absurdity of our politicians is on full display and makes you wonder why we give them lifetime salaries, health benefits, etc.
Rachel Maddow – Those of you who just rolled your eyes, I see you! Look, say what you want about Rachel but she’s an extremely intelligent woman and makes compelling arguments based in fact, using data, that you can verify. You might not agree with her analysis but I (nearly always) do.
Google News – I’ve started to go to Google for a quick aggregation of what is going on “right now” mainly because I can’t stomach anymore the “gotcha” headlines and poorly written/edited stories on Huffington Post. Which brings me to…
Huffington Post – HP is still a guilty pleasure for me; mainly because I like the physical layout of their home page better than any other. BUT, inevitably, each time I go there I face-palm myself because the headlines are infuriately decieving and the stories often have no “there” there. I didn’t read it before the AOL purchase so maybe it was better before they decided to write everything based on shock value. My secret to being able to stomach them is to only read the headlines down the center column. Everything else is just opinion or “link bait.”
At some point during the week, my TiVo picks up the following programs that I like:
European Journal – I really like the format of this show. It’s a bit like 60 Minutes where they present a few magazine-like stories each week except the stories are about what’s going on in the Euro Zone. Those stories rarely make it into any of the other shows I watch.
Moyers & Company – Another FREE PBS show that digs deep into issues of the day. Probably most people would find it boring but I find that Mr. Moyers brings contrasting opinions and helps me understand the deeper sides of the issues.
Fareed Zakaria GPS – I put this on here because I know a couple people who would point it out if I didn’t. I like Fareed and he has a good show but for some reason I just don’t warm up to him. The content is great though so catch it when TiVo picks it up.
60 Minutes – Yes, I’ll somewhat admit that I’ve turned into my step-father who used to watch 60 Minutes religiously. I never understood why but this last year I finally “got” why I couldn’t watch what I wanted to on Sunday nights. The stories they present each week are really thorough and, sometimes, are bombshells. Clearly, there is a reason they have been on the air for 45 years!
Up with Chris Hayes – I’ll admit that I couldn’t watch this without TiVo because it’s on Saturday mornings about the time I’m going to bed. Chris is really (REALLY) smart and digs into issues that are or should be especially important to anyone under 40. He’s definitely left-leaning but I deeply care about social issues and he covers those well.
And finally, Facebook allows you to create personalized interests lists so that you can filter wall posts into individual feeds. Instead of cluttering up my friend feed, I take all my news feeds and put them into one “personalized newspaper.” Obviously, I can’t read every article from each of these publications but I can go to this feed and skim to see what’s interesting.
– The Atlantic
– The Economist
– Foreign Policy Magazine
– Mother Jones
– The Nation Magazine
– New York Magazine
– The New York Times
– The New Yorker
– The Washington Post
That’s it! My news addiction for all to see. Well, technically, I left a lot out. There are still many more shows/sites that I read and monitor daily to stay abreast of what is going on with business, technology, travel, online marketing, gay equality, France, pop culture, etc. Does it feel a little out of control? Well, yeah. But, what can I say? I have a passion for learning new things and the more I know, the more I can contribute to society.
What do you think? Am I reading too much? Is there something I am missing? Let me know in the comments below.