Monday, July 20, 2009

My Morning Paper: The TeleGlobTimesHuffBeast

For many years, in addition to my Cheerios and bananas, I consumed two newspapers at my morning breakfast table: my local paper, the Nashua Telegraph; and the only "world class" paper in my part of the country, the Boston Globe. Alas, what with the Great Depression of 2009 and the subsequent search for budget cuts in our household, the newspapers were an easy cut. First one paper, and then another, stopped arriving.

That might cause you to think my wife and I are wandering the world uninformed, glazed eyes, spouting uninformed opinions, with just a touch of spittle at the mouth corner, but no dear reader. Actual dead trees have been replaced by laptop computers at our breakfast table. Truthfully, since we reached the one laptop per family member threshold a couple of years ago, it's rare that a computer isn't on any time someone is sitting down in our house, but I guess that's a story for another post. Here, though, are the online news sources I consume each morning:

  1. NashuaTelegraph - Need to peruse the local paper of record to see what the townfolk are doing, and keep up on where to bring the torches and pitchforks. Unfortunately, I've also reached that tell-tale age where one needs to keep up with the local obituaries as well.
  2. Boston Globe - We fail to appreciate our good fortune in having a regional paper that originates stories that are picked up by other media; that has genuinely talented writers who can approach a story above the 8th grade level. I fear I'm contributing to the demise of this venerable old journal with my canceled subscription, but then I remember the shell game they play with subscription pricing, and how they only offer you their best price after you've canceled. Still, when the budget is better I hope the Globe is still around for me to resubscribe.
  3. New York Times - Call it a liberal rag if you will, but it really is still the paper of record in the U.S. I look here for intelligent reporting of world and national news, plus I do have a number of columnists I enjoy.
  4. Huffington Post - Left slanted view of the news with some fabulous regular contributors. Look here for at least part of what news coverage after newspapers will look like
  5. Daily Beast - A short headline list of story-behind-the-story articles, also from a left perspective
  6. Others - My iGoogle and AllTop pages are setup to give me the latest headlines from CNN, MSNBC, Newsweek, among others. I usually scan these to see if there's a story I missed, or, in the case of Newsweek, a story I'd like more depth on.
I do love the feel of newsprint in my hands, and the format of (at least some) newspapers, but there are definite advantages to consuming news in this fashion. Possibly the most obvious is that I could not physically scan this much news material in print form in the same amount of time. Online sources are organized by headlines, for the most part, and you develop a system of scanning a list of headlines noting articles of interest, eliminating duplicate stories, and sorting into an order in which you'd like to read. For me, at least, this is a much more efficient system of staying informed.

So starts the day of one left-leaning news junkie, later to be followed over the course of the day by periodic glances at Twitter (best place for breaking news), only to settle in with the MSNBC lineup around dinner time. Oh yes, in between, I do manage to get some work done.

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