Overcoming Ignorance: The Search For Good News Sources

I have been struggling for a while with how to find and discover the daily news. I don’t read all of it in depth but every evening I like to flip through the headlines, read a few articles, and at least get a sense of what happened that day. Each day I like to see what is happening in world and US news, local Portland news, technology/business, and sports.

Local and tech news are pretty much taken care of. I get feeds of local news and tech news and follow along throughout the day. In the evening, then, I usually review Hacker News and Techmeme as well, which gives me plenty of long and short form technology information. For business insight, I read Bloomberg BusinessWeek. While this doesn’t give me the daily insight into what’s happening in the business world, it does give me some sense of topics.

Sports and world/US news have been a problem. I’ve tried a number of different solutions. For sports I currently peruse ESPN’s mobile app each day. The news there is lacking, though. Too much opinion and too little news. Furthermore, I can’t figure out how they decide the order of stories. I get a “timeline” with some times for today and some from days ago. I haven’t found anything else so far on this topic.

World/US news is more important to me then sports news and here I have failed multiple times. I have tried a few of the newspaper apps, including USA Today, NPR, Wall Street Journal and New York Times. I’ve stuck with the New York Times the longest even though I find its front page news often missing important stories in favor of New York news. I hate to break it to you, New York Times, but I could care less about your human interest stories about NYC and doubt many people outside of the city do either. It’s hard to consider you a national paper when you are so NYC-centric.

I’ve been using a few others recently that have promise. One is The Evening Edition. The stories are summarized and straight forward with lots of links for more depth. It has much more of an international flair than anything else I’ve been reading. It’s a great resource but just too short. Five stories and four links just isn’t enough to summarize the day.

Last night, though, I downloaded a new app that has promise. The app is named Circa. It starts with a list of headlines. When you click on any one, it gives you summarized information in small snippets, allowing the reader to dig deeper into the story, both as snippets and links to the original posts. It was just the first night but I found myself reading more stories then I have in a while, easily able to catch up on some multi-day old stories that no one else reported the aftermath of or new stories I hadn’t seen before.

Whether Circa is the answer or not I don’t know yet as it is too early. I accept the fact that my news may not come from a single source, just like it is for tech news, and that’s fine. But someone has to figure out how to present the news in a logical way for mobile. I hope someone does soon because I’m dying to be better informed but feel as ignorant as ever.

2 thoughts on “Overcoming Ignorance: The Search For Good News Sources

  1. We’ve talked at length about this issue. It’s still a problem for me also. I am hanging in with my Google gadgets on my browser home page ( includes top 3 stories from The Economist, WSJ, USA Today, Reuters, Zero Hedge, Yahoo Sports, NRO, The Scotsman-a local from Scotland, and some non periodical sources like Dictionary.com’s word for the day, weather (for hometown, Chile, etc). I try to avoid far L or R like the NY Times or Fox News on this Google browser homepage. I will try Circa and see what it is like. Google is taking away my page in Nov 2013, so that leaves me some time to come up with an alternative.

  2. I find US papers give a US centric view on the news. Try reading news on BBC or CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation). They do nice summaries and the view may open your eyes 🙂

    Maurice

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