Monday, March 16, 2009

Where Will You Get Your News From?

Apparently newspapers are going the way of the telegraph and 45 records. It is hard for me to imagine a world without newspapers since the daily paper has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Sunday mornings around the breakfast table included reading the comics section of the newspaper as soon as we learned how to read. Newspapers were where we looked for jobs, found an apartment to rent, clipped coupons for grocery shopping, read the obituaries, found out who was arrested and who did good things in the community, and posted our birth, marriage, and death announcements. But like many things, progress keeps moving forward so you have to keep up. I have been pondering where I will be able to get the news I need in the future. Here's some ideas:
  • YouTube. Videos are posted just as soon as they happen such as the plane that landed in the Hudson, fires, and other visually graphic events.
  • Cable news. I usually start my day with our local cable news station on in the background and catch a bit of CNN during the afternoon.
  • Craigslist. I often check our local Craigslist for garage sales, items for sale, and other local info.
  • Our local online newspaper. I have to admit I haven't had a newspaper subscription for a few years. I would pick up a newspaper if there was something specific in it that I wanted to keep but I often did not have time to read the entire paper so I usually just checked out the latest news online.
  • Sale ads. I am now in the habit of check the sale ads for our local and national big box stores online. It is quite simple to go to the store's website, type in my zip code, and peruse the local ads to see what's on sale for the week.
  • Email. I am on listservs for various things locally, regionally, and nationally. Any time there is a community event that needs my attention (ie: news of legislative action needed, etc), a pending disaster (ie: an alert from our local health district or department of emergency management), or other key news alerts or other info I need, it lands in my email inbox.
  • Websites and blogs. I have a portal page on one of my websites with a fairly comprehensive list of websites and blogs that I read frequently that provide a wide range of news and information. You can also do this by RSS feed.
  • Twitter. Likewise I follow a range of Twitter-ers who provide frequent updates of everything from the mundane to the very important.
  • Other online sources. TV Guide online, a variety of travel websites where I can purchase tickets, Daily Word for some spiritual inspiration, our local military base websites, and other info is gathered online these days.
  • Text messages and phone calls. News used to be shared person to person over the back fence now it is shared through technology such as cell phones, text messages, chatting online, IMs, etc.
  • Books and magazines. I dread the day that books become obsolete. I still get information from my regular trips to Barnes and Noble. Although the info is a bit dated due to production time, there is still something about actually holding a book or magazine in your hands, flipping through the pages, and learning something new.
  • Radio. I can't tell you what the popular songs are these days, mostly because any time I am in the car, my car radio is set on a local news station. Late afternoon I may flip the station to NPR, but our local AM news station includes news, ballgames, commentary/talk shows, etc, and this is what I mostly listen to.
  • Cellphone. I use my cellphone, of course for phone calls, but I also use it quite often to read the news. Whenever I have a few minutes I pull up CNN, ABS, and Reuters to read the latest news.

If anything, I think we are a society of people overdosing on news and information. Decades ago, life was simpler. Back then, we had very little news--an afternoon paper and an hour or so of news on TV--and we were perhaps happier. At least we didn't stress over 500 different things each day because we weren't aware of so many things that, quite frankly, shouldn't even concern us.


  1. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


  2. Hi CNI,

    I work at a newspaper where we've just had a buyout which ~60 employees took advantage of; that was about 30% of the employees. The rest of us were informed today that we will be furloughed for 10 days between now and Labor Day.

    Yep, the local printed media is going through a drastic change. They kept their head in the sand about 10 years too long...