By Mary Hadac
Since listicles (articles in the form of lists) seem to do well, I decided to write out my advice out in this way. Being aware of what is going on in local, national, and international affairs is more important than ever. An alarming amount of people do not pay attention to the news that they read and share. In this age of “alternative facts” and fake news, here are 4 ways that I have personally found help me consume news while wading through the bullshit.
1. Apple News
As a way to scan through some of the top stories that may interest you, Apple news is a good tool. Available on iOS devices, when you first open the app, it will give you a list of interests and news sources that you can choose from and change at any time and Apple will create a list of articles based on what you choose. Apple News also sends notifications from your most read news sources. This app is a good introduction to following the news regularly.
2. Use Comedy News
Now I am not saying you should use comedy news shows as a primary news source, but watching them can be cathartic. My suggestion is to use these shows to find out some of the headlines and topics and do your own research from there. It is important to keep in mind that these comedians are making jokes about the news and while I think shows like Last Week Tonight are well researched, they are not the end all and be all of facts on any story or topic.
3. Podcasts/ Radio
I generally dislike the format of television news, so I find podcasts to be a better and more portable option. My personal suggestion would be to listen to a newscast from a trusted source like PBS or the BBC before listening to a pundit or a podcast that is more about the hosts’ take on the news. This list is a good starting point for finding good newscast and different takes on the news.
4. Pick 3 and Go Deep
Here comes the hardest part. Choose about 3 news sources to read deeply into at least once a week. When figuring out what sources to follow, it is good to pick outlets that fall on more than one side of the political spectrum. That may change what stories are being covered and how they are reported.
Regardless of how you consume the news, make sure to read/listen/watch with a critical eye. Pay attention to wording, tone, facts that are stated or not stated, who is quoted, etc. Being an active consumer of the news is important for the upkeep of democracy.