I’m struck lately by the way that I more and more define my own media. While it used to be that the definitions were as simple as what flavor of nightly news, newspapers and magazines I ingested, the definition has become even more blurred.
Even a year ago, my news was somewhat loosely summed up by the news services I read at their websites as they intended me to read them.
In print, the list was limited to Soundings, plus a few trade magazines such as the mediapost online rag, and The Worcester Telegram. Add in a couple email newsletters from MediaPost and that was about it. (Now remember, I used to write for The Telegram…so I have a bent towards print).
Now I look at how I get my news, and while I still read the above somewhat religiously, I’ve also got a bazillion rss feeds from the blogs I read streaming in every morning. And those get read first…then I go to the International Herald Tribune and download the headline stories I want to listen to while I work using their ReadSpeaker function. In the end, I have a need for less than half of the regular news reading I do when I get to the traditional media. I’ve already listened to a good portion of the stories I might have read by the time I get around to reading the NYTimes headlines (and IHT often has the same stories).
Then there are the email alerts I get from Google News when a particular term or set of terms more likely comes through their search engine. Something like “Bluefin Tuna” + “Cape Cod” or a similar search. But I don’t have to go and be bothered to search. It stands as a guard at the door, warning me there’s some news out there waiting for me.
So now I am reading newspapers online, blogs via rss, listening to news stories, and my magazine readership is down to Soundings (the classic boating magazine) and whatever I read in the shop when I go to get my hair cut. The TV sitting above my computer used to be on almost all the time with CNN running. I don’t think I’ve had the news on while I worked for some time. And I don’t think I’ve watched a nightly newscast in almost a year.
The point is, that where as I used to actively need to go and find my news, today much of it finds me. And I’m reading a lot of it in a manner that’s stripped it of it’s advertising, away from it’s originally intended delivery mechanism.
So how have you redefined your news?