This is not an exit

Where do you get your news? Let’s share

In Uncategorized on November 6, 2010 at 12:40 am

We often ask ourselves this question in the newsroom.

“So where do most people get their news?”

My news and editorial adviser maintains that most people get their daily fix from places like Yahoo! and MSN. And, of course, there’s places like Fox News and Comedy Central — specifically The Daily Show and Colbert Report — where folks like to be entertained and informed at once. But does anyone get their news from one place and one medium? I sure hope not.

Personally, I can’t get enough information to satisfy me on any given day. I guess that’s why I decided to go into journalism. I like to know what’s happening in the world and I like to know what’s happening near me — hell, I even check in on stuff that’s happening in my hometown. I just can’t get enough of the news, plain and simple.

And, of course, I love to collect news on subjects that pique my interest *cough* video games *cough*. Well, not just games. There’s other stuff, too.

So, without further ado, here are five sites I probably spend too much time visiting each day. If you don’t care much about my surfing habits, jump straight to the end of this article for the bottom line and  your chance to speak up.

International | Spiegel Online
They may be a German news agency, but Spiegel does some of the best international reporting I’ve ever read. Sure, I read international stories on The New York Times’ web page, but I feel that in order to truly understand matters outside of our borders, it’s essential to read stories written by people who have a different perspective. After all, there are hardly any American news agencies that will report on how Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s decision to pump $600 billion into the U.S. economy will affect other nations’ economies. Yes, the Times will, but the article is buried so deeply in the International section that it’s hardly worth the work it takes to find it.

National | The New York Times online and Huffington Post
This one’s a toss-up for me. And in a few months’ time, I’ll definitely get the majority of my national news from the Huffington Post because the New York Times is going to start charging for subscriptions to the online edition. I’m not going to lie, though: That’s going to be a tough pill to swallow.
Say what you will, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a better place to follow the mid-term elections than the New York Times. They cover just about everything you need to know and I love the county bubble feature, which lets you see which areas of the nation or any given state have enough votes to sway an election. Huffington Post does an excellent job of nabbing breaking stories, and that’s mostly because of the format. I’ve maintained that newspapers will never die, but the landscape of the business sure has changed, and Arianna Huffington is one of the people at the helm of that restructuring.

State | The Oregonian online
I’ve read The Oregonian since I can remember. The writing in its news stories is straight, but the stuff inside is folksy at times. It fits the state perfectly.
Yes, some may argue that it’s highly reflective of Portland culture and politics, and it’s true. Maybe I’m willing to be dismissive of that fact because I really, really want to live in Portland. Really.
It’s the quality of the writing and the comments section for the website that really reel me in. The Register-Guard, the Lane County paper, does a great job of covering local issues, but I hardly see any of its reporters or editors reply to the comments or, hell, even very many comments on stories to begin with.
Even The News-Register, my hometown paper — and the publication I spent 11 weeks reporting for this summer — has a more robust comment section than the Guard’s. And these days you’ve really got to go after those commenters. The news biz is becoming more community-minded, and the next two sites on this list have built on that philosophy to great success.
The Oregonian does a great job of engaging its readers through both the print and online editions. This is a model the industry should strive to set as the norm.

Video games | Kotaku
The Gawker Media Network is the perfect example of creating a community centered around news. Now, these may not be your traditional journalists, but it seems to be the way the business is going.
Kotaku usually has the most up-to-date info on the video game industry. Other sites such as GameSpot and IGN may have a few good exclusives and features from time to time, but for straight news and a few juicy rumors, Kotaku is the way to go. Most other video game sites host forums or communities, but at Kotaku, readers have the opportunity to post directly to an article in a clean and efficient manner. That’s why the site has expanded to Japan, Australia and, most recently, Brazil.
The model works.
And it helps that editor-in-chief Brian Crecente is a handsome seasoned journalist with a mane you can’t help but respect.

Movies |/Film
Peter Sciretta and the guys over at /Film have also done a really great job of creating a community around the subject they love to report on. It’s basically the Kotaku of movies, and is regarded as one of the best movie blogs in the country by such outlets as Time and Attack of the Show. One of the best features of /Film is that the site will often feature products you can absolutely geek out over. TeeFury shirts are a favorite feature and the editors have also revealed such homemade contraptions as this golf cart outfitted to look like the Tumbler from Batman Begins and The Dark Knight . I kid you not.

General | Twitter
Do you have a Twitter account? Are you following some of your favorite celebrities and journalists? Chances are you’re getting a fair dose of news, then, too. I follow plenty of news outlets and journalists on my account and the nifty list feature lets you organize your feed so you can follow as many people as you want without fear of overwhelming yourself with tweets. I know some people out there are vehemently against the concept of Twitter; after all, it’s just a bunch of status updates, right?
Wrong.
Try following Cliff Blezsinski, design director of Epic Games, the folks responsible for the Gears of War franchise. Or how about Arianna Huffington, editor of the Huffington Post? While they may wait to go through the proper channels in order to break news, chances are you’ll see it on your Twitter feed within minutes as well. This is one of the main advantages of the social networking service: It lets the news come to you. Now isn’t that nifty?
On a side note, I would implore you to un-follow anyone who updates you on what they’re doing at any given moment. They’re wasting everyone’s time. Just like most other things, Twitter can be used for evil. Just ask this guy.

Five years ago I’d have The Oregonian delivered and pick up a copy of The Register-Guard in the break room at work. I’d comb them both and get a few random tidbits from specialty sites online. Do you remember web sites back then? They were nothing like they are today. We’re living in a fast-paced society where everyone wants to be first to the scene. It’s a great time to be a reader.

So there you have it. This is how I gather my news.

Now I ask: How do you get yours?

  1. This is one hell of an article. You really touched on the whole gamut of news outlets, from local to international to avocational. This is just so well written it’s like a field guide. I’m very tempted to go for Twitter now, as I’m certain some of my favorite writers and directors tweet often. And where do I get my news? To save you the boring (and scant) details, let’s just say I’m bookmarking a new field guide. This nerd’s going international.

    Can’t wait to see what you write next! I’d like to see more of your thoughts on the future of journalism.

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