Friday, January 12, 2007

How Do You Get Your News?


I have a confession to make: I have never been a big newspaper reader. I've never understood how people can spend hours on end consuming large pots of coffee and reading several newspapers a day. My preference has always been for news magazines, such as Newsweek, Time and McLean's (I loved this one when we lived in Canada).

I guess I could cite some reasons for my lifelong aversion to newsprint media. I could say, for example, that I hate getting ink all over my fingers, which is true. I could say, further, that I hate messing with large unwieldy sheets of paper that rip easily, which is also true. And, now that I can't read anything within two feet of my face without glasses, I can say, in all honesty, that newspaper print is too difficult to read, with or without my "specs."

Another confession: I've never been a big fan of TV news either. Why not? First, as Jenn demonstrated in one of her recent blog postings, most TV news coverage is superficial, if not downright banal. Second, even "news" shows that are supposed to feature commentary by and discussion between "experts" are little more than badly written, cheaply produced melodramas that feature lots of shouting, bad manners and almost zero intellectual substance.

My final confession: I spend hours each day (and night) reading news on the Internet. I read tidbits from the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN and various other web sites and blogs. I especially enjoy reading comments and responses by other readers. I like starting a story, finding a link to another interesting story, wandering around from there, then eventually coming back to where I started. I don't always return successfully to my starting place, however, since it's easy to get lost in cyberspace; sometimes I can't even remember where I started! I've just begun using a RSS feed in Yahoo! and I think, once I get accustomed to it, this is a tool I will be using a lot. For one thing, it's easy to get back to where I started if I begin wandering too far astray.

I'll close with two questions for you:

1. What's your news poison? Are you an Internet junkie, a TV fan, a newspaper addict, or an aficianado of a technology I've overlooked?
2. Why do you prefer that medium?

7 comments:

Christian Camuti said...

Since purchasing a laptop, I really enjoy reading my papers over breakfast in the morning. I read a lot of the New York papers for the sports. My browser also automatically opens to foxnews.com and msnbc.com.

I prefer using the internet because I can access information that I enjoy without regional boundaries that a local paper would have.

Barbara said...

I like getting my news from the TV. I find that the Canadian News stations, such as CTV, offer a well-rounded global perspective and not sensationalized.

Evie Sears said...

Barb, I agree that Canadian TV news coverage is much better than American news. I always enjoyed CBC's The Journal much more than Dateline or 60 Minutes.

We moved from Winnipeg to Iowa in the summer of 1996 - just in time for the summer Olympics in Atlanta. Dave and I were appalled at the terrible TV coverage. The problem was likely exacerbated by the fact that the Olympics were hosted in the USA. Even Jonathan, young as he was, remembered the CBC coverage of the 1994 Winter Olympics and noticed a huge difference. American Olympic coverage has improved since then, but it has not yet equalled the quality of Canadian coverage.

Jenn said...

i like the internet. it's all your media rolled into one

Joanne said...

I watch the CBC or CTV every night before bed. They are able to encapculate the day without sensationalism. Bruce & I also like the Fifth Estate and The Journal. Since moving to Calgary, the print media has kinda faded into the background for us, except of course for the "Okotoks Western Wheel". Gotta make sure we scan that every week to see what's up in the heavy debate in town as to whether the Saturday tail gate sales should continue this coming summer, or if there are any more positions as a Boar Semen Collector at the local hog farm.

Erik said...

I'm hooked to "Trouw" (meaning something in-between "trust" and "faith")a quality newspaper also with many articles about global trends, religion, ethics, politics, so not only the hot news items. Especially Dutch items get much attention such as the immigrants "problem", education, health care issues etc. For global information I also go to the BBC. I also like Dutch talk shows on TV which are far more deep-going than most American talk shows. Because I spend so many hours at the PC on my work I restrict my computertime at home mostly to my blog (and yours). I also must learn to keep my big mouth shut until I know what I'm talking about.

Erik said...

Oh, I forgot: I love searching Google-earth. Recently I visited Fairfax from behind my desk, imagining where you could live, which was of course rather the pin in the haystack. What a big city! Our village could easily fit a number of times in one of the living quarters. You could also visit Hardegarijp (or: Hurdegaryp in Frisian). It gives a feeling as if we would make an appointment to look at the moon at a given time, knowing we are in connection that way. Hardegarijp is 10 KM East of Leeuwarden (our Frisian capital, the size of a neighborhood in Fairfax, but with "grachten" (city canals).