It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the news today. So much of the broadcasts we see and hear tend to focus on what’s bad in the world, and because stations are constantly competing with fast-paced demands of social media and real-time updates, the accurate information can get lost in the shuffle. We’re left bewildered, defeated or out of touch.
So, where to find news updates that actually help us become more informed and engaged global citizens?
Take a look at the list we compiled below for some ideas of news sources that keep us in the know:
The Skimm is a daily e-newsletter that provides everything you need to know to be conversational about the important things going on in the world. An update is delivered to your inbox every morning, highlighting important stories and including sub-headers that break down the information into digestible sound bites. You can click on the link at the bottom of each story to read more about the topic in full, or you can simply take in the relevant details The Skimm provides.
The tone of the e-mails is anything but news-y; instead, you feel like you’re conversing with a friend (a sassy, super smart, in-the-know friend), making you look forward to your e-mail updates day after day.
With 27 million hits daily, the Drudge Report is the one of the most visited news outlets around, and with good reason: the goal of the site is not to write new stories but instead to link to existing pieces in order to provide readers with the most up-to-date, breaking content. Instead of reinventing the wheel by duplicating content that already exists online or in the paper, employees for the Drudge Report post links to stories the minute they find them, thereby reducing redundancy.
Instead of writing articles about the same news updates that other outlets are reporting on, they simply share relevant news from all ends of the spectrum. The Drudge Report is a great outlet to follow on Twitter, as they post all articles on social media as soon as they go live on their site.
The Today Show
Morning shows get a bad rap because they have segments that focus on pop culture and entertainment news, but the Today Show does an excellent job of providing viewers with a healthy mix of human-interest pieces, celebrity news, and hard-hitting investigative segments.
Like we’ve already mentioned, the news today can be very, very grim, so sometimes it’s nice to throw in a story about Wrangler, The Today Show’s seeing-eye-dog-in-training, as you’re getting ready to start your day. The upbeat stories set a positive tone for your morning, offsetting other stories that may be difficult to digest. The Today Show’s anchors share a good dose of breaking news updates, too, keeping you in the loop as you head out for the day.
This American Life
You may only know This American Life as the host site for Serial (and if you don’t know what Serial is, stop reading right now and go listen to the first episode), but it is so much more. Though it’s not necessarily a news outlet (in fact, the website specifically claims that it is “not a news show or a talk show or a call-in show”), This American Life provides listeners with relevant information that increases awareness about the world around us.
Each episode revolves around a theme, and instead of providing straight facts and figures about said theme, producers craft narratives that draw in listeners in a compelling, impactful way. The show’s website sums it up best: “If you’re not doing stories about the news, or celebrities, or things people have ever heard of elsewhere, you have to give people a reason to keep listening. The themes make it seem like you should.”
The content of the show varies, largely depending on current events, and it sometimes features essays, short stories, and memories. Essentially, it provides listeners with a dose of culture, balancing out the information received from traditional news outlets.
What news outlets do you follow? Do you have any to add to this list?
Image via Milena Mallory