Who’s Your Media?

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.

Boston.com (The Boston Globe)
BostonHerald.com (The Boston Herald)
NYTimes.com (The Times)
Guardian.com (The Guardian)
SlashDot.com
DrudgeReport.com

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?

One Reply to “Who’s Your Media?”

  1. Mostly online. I have a bunch of Houston Chronicle RSS feeds in Google Reader for local news. During the day I try to drop in on Washingtonpost.com and NYTimes.com. The Houston Chronicle shows up on my doorstep every day (although I don’t subscribe… it just keeps coming!) and I might actually look at the paper copy once a week. At most.

    I like print and I really miss my mornings with coffee and the Washington Post from my DC days. (I actually think the Post surpassed the NY Times for quality reporting a couple of years ago).) But the only print options here are the Chronicle (feh) and the Times (expensive) so it’s off to the computer.

    I almost never watch television news, unless I’m in a hotel or stuck somewhere where it is on, and every time I see it I’m appalled by how bad it is. I think it’s playing a major role in making our country stupid.

    I also rely on a number of political or commentary blogs to point me toward interesting news stories that I miss in my own scanning. And I listen to some news-oriented podcasts: several from The Economist, KCRW’s Left, Right, and Center (excellent), Diane Rehm when I have time (especially her Friday news roundups).

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