Where I Get My News

May 4, 2017

(Maya gets her news from the pamphlet in the seat back pocket, but she takes it terribly seriously. Unrelated: Michael can sleep through being pummeled by Maya on a flight. I cannot.)

One of the things that actually kept me from blogging for all that time the last few months (basically since Christmas) was the internet. It was giving me major anxiety to spend so much time on it every day reading about the next apocalyptic thing going on in the world…or mostly in or caused by Washington. What’s happening in this country on an almost-hourly basis overwhelms me and terrifies me and it almost always seems like anything I do won’t make enough difference.

Around February I pinpointed my exhausting anxiety to looking at Facebook and Twitter much too often looking for the next apocalyptic thing going on. So I took Facebook and Twitter off my phone. I still peeked at them for a few minutes every few days on my computer, but I spent much less time on those apps overall. Shocking absolutely no one, it made a big difference to my general level of agitation. Not hearing about the hourly apocalypse lessened that stress and I decided to replace that time with learning. I want to be informed without being enraged 100% of the time. I think some people can maintain that level of outrage, but I was realizing I didn’t have it in me – and also realizing it was affecting the people who had to spend all their time with me.

To that end, I thought I’d share the sources I look at daily or weekly to stay up to date on what’s going on around the country, without having to see so many outraged (although very well-meaning) posts from friends. I’d love to hear where you get your news and also how you manage to stay at a reasonable level of outrage without going totally bananas.

The Mash-Up Americans: Weekly newsletter (and website) about all things racial. Last weekend alone, I read these three articles they linked and they stuck with me all week: Why Poverty Is Like A Disease, Ludacris Rapping Llama Llama Red Pajama (just try to get that out of your head within 3 days and also when are they coming out with a rapping children’s book album to replace the painful options I refuse to play now), and The NFL’s Racial Divide. As a wife to a bi-racial man and a mama to a mixed race daughter, I try to learn as much as possible on this topic constantly. (Oh, also this article about Rachel Dolezal and a short list that explains cultural appropriation.)

The Skimm: Daily news at about 6am in simple, sometimes punny, digestible fashion. I usually open this one first as I wake up. It’s easy to read and makes me feel like I’ve done/learned something from the get-go.

Quartz Daily: Sort of more markets-based with an international focus. I definitely get more Asian news from this than I do anywhere else. It’s a great round-up with quirky stories from around the world at the bottom.

The New York Times Morning Briefing and Weekend Briefing: All the news that’s fit to print, except condensed into a single email where you can click on stories for more in-depth reading.

News & Guts: Dan Rather is 85. Can you believe that? But he’s fired up and ready to question everything Trump does, as well as analyze a lot of what’s going on in politics and science at the moment. There’s something reassuring and grounding about Rather, perhaps because he draws from decades of experience as a journalist.

Vox Media: Vox Media is great for explaining things you think you already understand just because you hear about it constantly. Turns out, most of those things need more detailed explainers.

And one last thing. This video of Senator Elizabeth Warren (of “…and still we persisted” fame, lest you forget) speaking at the NAACP in Detroit last month, it is incredibly moving and will make you wonder if she’s positioning herself for a presidential run and also wish she definitely would.

Where do you get your news? I’d love to have more suggestions.

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