Author Topic: News / Media sources that add value to your life?  (Read 1221 times)

Cordivae

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News / Media sources that add value to your life?
« on: April 19, 2019, 08:22:32 AM »
I hate to admit it, but I'm pretty hooked on news.google.com and corresponding sites like theatlantic / slate.  But I generally feel like my attention is being hijacked by dopamine feedback loops.

I don't want to stick my head in the sand and be unaware of what is going on it the world, but I'm looking for an information stream that adds value and understanding to my life rather than prey off of anxiety to drive viewership.

Does anyone here have some suggestions for this?  I'm not adverse to paying for a site or two if it helps to get away from this.

dcheesi

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Re: News / Media sources that add value to your life?
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2019, 08:37:20 AM »
Newspaper subscription? Most papers offer online-only subs if you're not interested in dead trees. Depending on the paper, the content can be much higher quality than your average click-spam "news" sites.

Personally, I sub to the Washington Post electronically. Besides being a major national paper, it's also local to my region, so it's kind of a no-brainer. Of course you have to consider source bias when selecting a news outlet, but large institutions like WP at least have journalistic standards that keep their factual reporting in check (Opinion columns are a different story).

six-car-habit

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Re: News / Media sources that add value to your life?
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2019, 10:51:14 AM »
 Reuters has journalists all over the world.  If there is any slant , it seems minimal. www.reuters.com
 Free, and updated often. Most of their longer in-depth articles are very well done and researched.

Khaetra

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Re: News / Media sources that add value to your life?
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2019, 10:57:24 AM »
I sub to the Washington Post, New York Times, Time and The New Yorker.  The WaPo and NYT I get digital, Time and the New Yorker I get the print editions.

LifeHappens

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Re: News / Media sources that add value to your life?
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2019, 11:08:16 AM »
Check to see if your library system offers a New York Times subscription. Mine does, and it's free.

I get a lot of value out of long form investigative journalism. Pro Publica is good place to start. Longform.org is a great aggregator of this type of writing.

Michael in ABQ

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Re: News / Media sources that add value to your life?
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2019, 10:38:12 PM »
I subscribe to geopoliticalfutures.com As the name implies the focus is on geopolitics. They publish 2-3 articles per day that range from a daily round-up to relatively long analysis. Very non-partisan and far more depth on international issues than you'll typically see in any mainstream media.

somers515

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Re: News / Media sources that add value to your life?
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2019, 04:38:16 AM »
National Public Radio.

frugaldrummer

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Re: News / Media sources that add value to your life?
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2019, 11:39:57 AM »
Rachel Maddox does some of the best in-depth political reporting on TV. She really digs into the facts behind the news and makes the important connections that you're not hearing about in the more superficial coverage.

NorCal

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Re: News / Media sources that add value to your life?
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2019, 09:02:23 PM »
I felt the same and I really struggle.  It's not really news, but I've started looking at monthly magazines with interesting articles that avoid politics.  I've subscribed to the Smithsonian.  I'm also considering Popular Science, and maybe National Geographic.

I'll also second geopoliticalfutures.com.  It's a great read.

I have started looking at my local newspapers.  They're not overly political in my part of the country, but I know that can vary heavily by region.  Although I still keep them to a minimum.

Having recently purged a lot of news sites from my life, I absolutely recommend it.  Honestly, I recommend trying 30 days with no news.  You'll be surprised at how much of a better mood you're in.  And you honestly won't be left uninformed.  It is quite literally impossible to stay unaware of major news events.  Even if you try. I've turned off the news, and still happen to know just about everything going on in the world. 

Give it a try.  And good luck!

Buffalo Chip

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Re: News / Media sources that add value to your life?
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2019, 04:26:40 AM »
I hate to admit it, but I'm pretty hooked on news.google.com and corresponding sites like theatlantic / slate.  But I generally feel like my attention is being hijacked by dopamine feedback loops.

I don't want to stick my head in the sand and be unaware of what is going on it the world, but I'm looking for an information stream that adds value and understanding to my life rather than prey off of anxiety to drive viewership.

Does anyone here have some suggestions for this?  I'm not adverse to paying for a site or two if it helps to get away from this.

With all respect, I’d challenge your premise that “sticking your head in the sand” is a bad thing. You’ve already wisely identified that your current “news” viewing habit is a problem, so why not work on that?  Unless you’re a political consultant or working in the media, does it really matter?  There are many people, including yours truly, who are on low information little to no “news” diets. What you find once you’ve been on a diet for awhile is that so much of what you were getting just isn’t relevant. If it really is important information, say a hurricane heading your way, you’ll hear about it from friends, family, and colleagues.

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: News / Media sources that add value to your life?
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2019, 09:44:39 AM »
I love slate, but, yeah, it's a bit "the sky is falling".

Like a lot of the others, I have an online subscription to the Washington Post and one to the newspaper for my metro region.  I also scan USAToday.com (they have some great investigative reporting too) and CNN.com every day. 

My secret weakness is People.com  I like reading about trashy reality tv way more than watching it.

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: News / Media sources that add value to your life?
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2019, 12:12:41 PM »
I hate to admit it, but I'm pretty hooked on news.google.com and corresponding sites like theatlantic / slate.  But I generally feel like my attention is being hijacked by dopamine feedback loops.

I don't want to stick my head in the sand and be unaware of what is going on it the world, but I'm looking for an information stream that adds value and understanding to my life rather than prey off of anxiety to drive viewership.

Does anyone here have some suggestions for this?  I'm not adverse to paying for a site or two if it helps to get away from this.

With all respect, I’d challenge your premise that “sticking your head in the sand” is a bad thing. You’ve already wisely identified that your current “news” viewing habit is a problem, so why not work on that?  Unless you’re a political consultant or working in the media, does it really matter?  There are many people, including yours truly, who are on low information little to no “news” diets. What you find once you’ve been on a diet for awhile is that so much of what you were getting just isn’t relevant. If it really is important information, say a hurricane heading your way, you’ll hear about it from friends, family, and colleagues.

I largely agree with this.

I gave up social media for Lent, and when I returned, I found myself exposed to all these "controversies" that have absolutely no impact on my life. Just this week alone is the whole Kate Smith God Bless America thing (who cares), Kamala Harris saying we should think about the Boston Bomber being allowed to vote (dumb, but who cares), the usual Trump controversies (it's wet when it rains), more Russia stuff (what are you going to do about it), etc.

It's all such worthless information that steals a vast amount of concentration and focus away from you.

I am reverting back to logging off all social media and all news (Instagram being the lone exception, and I follow only about 50 close friends). Everything else is just noise. News especially is just a step above reality TV in terms of its bullshitometer. 

***

All of this said, if you really want to read the news, I would recommend The Atlantic, the New Yorker, USA Today, WSJ, and your local metro paper. The Atlantic and New Yorker have excellent writing that is up to date but not so reactive to EVERYTHING; WSJ, USA Today, and your local metro will fill in the rest.

I don't want to derail the thread, but I would categorically object to the above recommendations of New York Times, Washington Post (unless that's your local metro), and especially Maddow/MSNBC/CNN/Fox (all cable news), as these all seem to fall into the "sky is falling" category about EVERYTHING that happens these days.

USA Today, WSJ, Atlantic, New Yorker all seem to be less reactive and hyperbolic, and I still read these publications on Sundays.

BicycleB

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Re: News / Media sources that add value to your life?
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2019, 12:54:24 PM »
mediabiasfactcheck.com

uses:

offers quick reasonably reliable bias classification of many news sources.

has news summaries by political orientation, with small number of articles; can use to skim key news elements without engaging in much clickbait.

news summaries stay visible in chronological order, so you can skip news for a couple weeks and then catch up quickly.

has an optional plugin that can display media sources' left/right classification in your browser's header row.

if you like, you can read the incredibly long list of media sources, then in future use ones that do thoughtful deep dives as go-to sources when you want to research issues. There's a lot of excellent serious journalism and policy analysis happening; you can eliminate clickbait loops but still gain knowledge.

OtherJen

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Re: News / Media sources that add value to your life?
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2019, 02:16:40 PM »
I usually check the Reuters home page in the morning to get an overview of any big news stories. A quick glance through my Facebook feed usually lets me know if something big is happening locally or otherwise (I follow a couple of local newspapers, NPR, and the BBC), and then I can choose to pursue further info. I avoid TV news like the plague.

Syonyk

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Re: News / Media sources that add value to your life?
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2019, 09:45:49 PM »
I don't want to stick my head in the sand and be unaware of what is going on it the world...

It's literally impossible to do this.  I've been trying.  Trust me.  News will get to you, despite your best efforts to live under a rock.

With all respect, I’d challenge your premise that “sticking your head in the sand” is a bad thing. You’ve already wisely identified that your current “news” viewing habit is a problem, so why not work on that?  Unless you’re a political consultant or working in the media, does it really matter?  There are many people, including yours truly, who are on low information little to no “news” diets. What you find once you’ve been on a diet for awhile is that so much of what you were getting just isn’t relevant. If it really is important information, say a hurricane heading your way, you’ll hear about it from friends, family, and colleagues.

^^ That, also.

It's important to reason about what's "important to know about" vs what's "important to know about, now."

To use a recent example, unless you live in Paris, the Notre Dame cathedral burning down falls into the "this is probably worth know about, if irrelevant to my life" category - but is it important to know about now, while it's happening?  Absolutely not.  I live in the US.  I can't do a thing about it, even if I know about it.  Literally nothing.  So, knowing the result at some point in the days after is just as good as following the blow-by-blow Twitter feeds and the constantly updated news articles and the socials and... etc, except that I can still get stuff done on Monday that's locally relevant (job, property work, etc).

And if I don't find out about it?  It probably wasn't relevant anyway.

I've happily used the excuse to "Did you hear about xyz?" of, "No, I've been trying to live under a rock lately in terms of news, mostly successfully."  Someone gets the satisfaction of informing you of something you didn't know about, you get (typically) the super-summarized version, learn something, and haven't wasted time on the process of being attracted to the websites as another set of eyeballs.

It helps to realize that news websites aren't "news" websites anymore.  They're eyeball-aggregators, using every dirty trick in the book (for most of them) to keep you attached.  You won't believe the 10 dirty tricks websites use to...  News companies HATE this Idaho mom's trick...  Skip this one food to kill fat fast!

(I make fun of them, but without any exaggeration needed)

Point is, your addiction to the news?  Totally awesome for them, because it's literally their goal.  Sometime between roughly 2008 and 2015, news transitioned from being more or less about news to being entirely about the viral clicks and likes and relikes and social shares and... etc.

It became, in other words, violently toxic to humans.

You're fine missing out on that.

I gave up social media for Lent, and when I returned, I found myself exposed to all these "controversies" that have absolutely no impact on my life. Just this week alone is the whole Kate Smith God Bless America thing (who cares), Kamala Harris saying we should think about the Boston Bomber being allowed to vote (dumb, but who cares), the usual Trump controversies (it's wet when it rains), more Russia stuff (what are you going to do about it), etc.

It's all such worthless information that steals a vast amount of concentration and focus away from you.

I am reverting back to logging off all social media and all news (Instagram being the lone exception, and I follow only about 50 close friends). Everything else is just noise. News especially is just a step above reality TV in terms of its bullshitometer. 

It's amazing what a bit of distance and perspective does, isn't it?  I've taken up the habit of largely giving up the internet for lent, annually, and it's awesome.  I'm making a few posts on various forums after that (Happy Easter!), but... yeah.  You can live without regular forums/social media/etc.

Quote
All of this said, if you really want to read the news, I would recommend The Atlantic, the New Yorker, USA Today, WSJ, and your local metro paper. The Atlantic and New Yorker have excellent writing that is up to date but not so reactive to EVERYTHING; WSJ, USA Today, and your local metro will fill in the rest.

I've actually been happy with Pocket.  I get a daily list of a few popular articles that I can skim the summaries of and let me know what's going on in general.  If it's interesting, I'll read it, but otherwise I just get a morning summary of popular reading of the past week or so, and it's a great way to keep my pulse on the general trends of the world without wasting much time on it.

grobinski

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Re: News / Media sources that add value to your life?
« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2019, 09:53:32 PM »
NPR/MPR, PBS Newshour and Washington Week, the Guardian, BBC, Daily Show, Samantha Bee.

Microsoft News app somehow allows full reads of NYT, WP, WSJ, LAT, etc without paywall blockage

BicycleB

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Re: News / Media sources that add value to your life?
« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2019, 01:49:43 AM »
The Root. The Atlantic. fivethirtyeight.com.

Sometimes LA Times, Wired and pcmag.com.

Also sometimes Deutche Welle or Al Jazeera.

JTColton

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Re: News / Media sources that add value to your life?
« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2019, 05:09:27 AM »

It's all such worthless information that steals a vast amount of concentration and focus away from you.
 

I wonder to myself how much more productive and stress free would our lives be if we unplugged from all the insanity. All it is, is sensational click bait designed to hit our dopamine feedback loop, each article more breathless then the last. Pure hysterical opinion disguised as honest reporting. The more plugged in people are the more miserable they seem and it doesn't much matter what you identify as. 

My liberal friends: "did you hear about the Mueller report on CNN? He's Guilty!"
My conservative friends: "did you hear about the Mueller report on Fox? He's Innocent!"

Why I sure didn't and IDGAF, I was busy hiking/reading/travelling/cooking/wtv.

No FB, IG, Twitter here. I tend to focus more on specific areas that interest me with little regard for generic "news". I frequently travel internationally for work so I might take a look at Reuters to see what is popping in my location. For financials I'll almost always go to WSJ, then to the applicable .gov to get the actual report (mostly) free from spin. I'll read The Intercept and Medium on an infrequent basis, and The Atlantic has had some good articles of late.

NorCal

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Re: News / Media sources that add value to your life?
« Reply #18 on: April 28, 2019, 06:52:43 AM »
Here's the filter I use to identify whether a news source is worth keeping in my life or not.

I simply ask myself if this news source is telling me what happened, or telling me what I should think about what happened.  If it's the later, I dump it from my life.  I'm perfectly capable of thinking on my own, thank you very much.

Unfortunately, this led me to recently dump the Economist.  It used to be such a great magazine, but they've gone down the same rabbithole of opinion journalism that just sucks value from life.

BicycleB

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Re: News / Media sources that add value to your life?
« Reply #19 on: April 28, 2019, 07:16:11 AM »
LOL. The Economist's opinions are what led me into researching politics in the first place. In the 1990s!

I spent the first part of the decade a young employee, reading magazines about business and looking for lessons in preparation for starting a business in my 30s. After a few years, I knew enough to get started, but had noticed that the Economist mixed political opinions with its economic coverage. So I decided to find a magazine or two on "the other side" to sort out what the underlying truth might be.

By then, I had started a business that marketed itself by including a public service component. Soon I morphed into more of a public service volunteer than an entrepreneur. The political reading was as relevant to my new life as the business reading had been. After a period of mixing experience and reading, I developed a much deeper take on the news. Meanwhile, the "news" became 90% rehearsal of current talking points, only 5% to 10% new information.

I do think the hype quotient is higher than it used to be in major media, but news has always been somewhat of a surface exercise. Wise consumption is still possible. Detailed and excellent sources on numerous topics are in some ways more accessible than ever before.

MandalayPA

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Re: News / Media sources that add value to your life?
« Reply #20 on: April 28, 2019, 07:26:02 AM »
I subscribe to the New York Times and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, although the former seems like it's all OMG TRUMP all the time and the latter almost goes the completely opposite way.  I also hate TV news, although I can't quite wean Mr. Mandalay from it.