Changing How I Get the News

A little while back, I read an article in the New York Times by Farhad Manjoo about how he switched to reading newspapers instead of getting his news from Social Media.

The piece was titled For Two Months, I Got My News From Print Newspapers. Here’s What I Learned. While there was some controversy as Farhad had posted on social media at times during the two months, I like the idea he had. For a little more details about the controversy, you can hear an interview with Farhad Manjoo and Bob Garfield in an On The Media Podcast Extra discussing the matter.

I thought Farhad had an interesting take on it, and he made a good point about the speed of news when your primary source is Twitter and other social media sites. I’ve culled my main Twitter account of most news and politics accounts, primarily focusing on technology, science, software development and other “lighter” topics. My experience on Twitter has become better since doing so, but even with my best intentions, plenty of news and politics still makes it into my feed.

I’m thinking that I want to give this a try myself. But given costs, I think I’m going to forego the paper copies of newspapers and focus on the digital versions. I currently have a digital subscription to the New York Times, Wall Street Journal. I also receive The Economist weekly. I figure given time constraints, I’ll open the apps or websites a few times a day and read what’s happening. It might not be quite the same as the paper edition, but should still slow things down a bit. I’m planning on trying to try this for the month of April.

During this time, I will not be on Twitter, Facebook, or Reddit. I’ll still peruse Hacker News and I’ll still be on Instagram. I figure I don’t use Instagram for news, so it’s no big deal there. Hacker News tends to focus more on tech and software development which will probably be less represented in sources such as the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. I’m still planning on following my RSS feeds as well, but I haven’t completely made up my mind there. I also plan to continue to listen to podcasts which will also help keep me up to date on the news.

My primary reason for doing this is to see what it’s like to get news on a “slower” basis. I doubt I’ll leave Twitter and Reddit forever and they certainly have their place. But for the month of April, I feel like it would be a good experiment to see how it goes.

I’ll update after April to let you know how it goes and if I was able to stick to my plan.