Monday, June 20, 2011

The New News Junkie

How can a news junkie remain informed without subscribing to any newspaper and not watching news on TV?  These days, it's easier than you might think - if you're connected.  In a piece for MacWorld, Lex Friedman writes on how he uses the Internet to keep informed, doing most of his reading through his iPad.
The article is worth a read, but the main point is Friedman takes advantage of RSS subscriptions to have headlines and stories sent from news sites as they're posted, and several apps to improve readability and archiving.  Twitter gives an increasingly good window on breaking news and stories.  These let him keep track of key focus areas.  But Friedman also recognizes that news aggregators, like newspapers and TV news, by gathering broadly (rather than more narrow RSS focus) can expose you to other interesting items.  And as they say, "There's apps for that."  Friedman notes he does have several old media news apps (NY Times, Reuters, CNN, USA Today) in a folder; they aren't daily reads for him - more a set of places to go for different takes on stories.  The story mentions a number of apps, as do some of the comments.
The Internet can certainly bring news faster than most any other medium, and can offer access to more detail and depth on stories than most media can afford to bring.  On the other hand, there's still value in news judgment and the vetting of information that used to be the emphasis of journalism.  It would seem to be a good mix, but Friedman notes that most old media news sites aren't very user-friendly - hard to navigate, too full of content to sift through, and rarely helpful in pointing to other sources of information.  Almost as if their mindset is still in the analog mass media world, rather than embracing the potential for user-customization online news could provide.

Source: "How a news junkie uses the iPad,"  MacWorld

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