I follow 317 Twitter accounts, 248 blogs on Tumblr and track about 30 topics in my RSS feed. I probably read more than 500 tweets every day.
The Pew Research Center released a report in 2010 detailing the trends of news consumption. An overwhelming majority of people receive their news from multiple media platforms, including newspapers, TV and the Internet.
Only 7 percent of those polled receive their news from only one media platform. While eight out of 10 online consumers receive or share their news via email. The popularity of online news has surpassed print news media. TV news remains more popular than both platforms.
The Internet ought to be considered one of the modern marvels of the world. The World Wide Web has revolutionized countless industries and upended centuries-old business models. News articles are published all the time. The 24-hour news cycle we hear about isn’t a joke or an exaggeration. If you want the news, the latest stories are just a few mouse clicks and keystrokes away.
Each day, thousands of new blog posts and articles are published and your average news junkie doesn’t stand a chance of keeping up with the constant flow of information.
How do we figure out what we need to know on a daily basis? What can we do to streamline our media diet so we can make the best of the available information on the subjects we care about most?
This is something I struggle with every day.
Sometimes it takes me two hours to scour my Tumblr and Twitter feeds so I can find the latest news stories. Sometimes it takes me four or five hours. Either way, I’m constantly being overloaded with information.
I like it this way because I’m rarely bored, but I don’t always appreciate playing catch-up. Although it is exhausting, it’s not very enlightening and I certainly don’t have time to constantly read the news, especially now that classes have started.
This is the nature of an ever-changing landscape like the Internet.
I’m going to try to be smarter about my media intake and I’d like to invite you to do the same.
Let’s read quality news publications with online content via Google Reader.
Let’s scan posts from some of our favorite bloggers and columnists, just to get a feel for what they’re reading or writing about.
Let’s follow the big stories that crop up throughout the day, but let’s avoid reading the comments section on any article from here on out. Let’s remain sane in the crazy, chaotic world that is the Internet.
Let’s follow domestic and international news reporters from all over the political spectrum and avoid entertainment news. (The existence of "Jersey Shore’s" Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi still makes me cry for my country.) Let’s strive to stay as informed as we possibly can.
Reach the columnist at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow the columnist at @SavannahKThomas.