Posts tagged with ‘news diet’

I came to the US some 49 years ago, a young refugee, lucky to have fled an Eastern European communist country. I felt that I must earn my American citizenship by working hard and perfecting my English. My girl friend, a genuine girl from Brooklyn, N.Y. Said to me: “You wanna speak good English? You gotta read the New York Times. Every day. O.K.”

William Pavlov, now a long-time NY Times reader who is an attorney in Miami Beach, left that comment on the new Times Insider, a new behind-the-scenes Times Premier feature.

Times Insider came along with Times Premier, one of a set of new subscription plans and offerings launched last month that offers readers who are willing to pay $45 a month services like Times Insider (a behind-the-scenes look at how big stories are reported), TBooks (single-subject compilations of past articles), family access and more.

Pro Tip: The idea behind Insider is to create a more informed readership. While all that sounds appealing, if you’re not a big-time fan like William and not trying to pay for Premier, you can always read excellent news about how the news was made over at CJR and especially IJNet, while also diversifying your news diet.

This will be the part that makes people mad and that makes me decidedly “unfuture” of media: I really try not to get my news from Twitter, which has a reputation as a place where people go and find lots of great news. I find it a place you go to find, I guess, your barbecued potato chips.

A lot of stuff that is kind of interesting, mostly not that good. And it’s absolutely chewed over into cud by the time you get there. So I’ve been making a concerted effort to create structure on my computer using different kinds of software and so forth, that forces me to get less of my news from social media, and more of it by reading my RSS feed, which are blogs, or going to other news sites.

Ezra Klein, as quoted by Conor Friedersdorf in Ezra Klein’s Case Against Getting Your News from Twitter, The Atlantic.

FJP: Very related and very helpful is Paul Bradshaw’s A Network Infrastructure for Journalists Online, which is an introduction to RSS readers, social networks and social bookmarking.

If you watch people shop in a grocery store, 95% of the time they are scanning the shelves for the packaging, making the choices on that before they turn the bottle around and look at the nutrition information. People choose their media that way too. So you can have a piece of media with the exact same nutritional value in it with different packaging and the consumer is going to choose the one that appeals to them most.

Upworthy’s Editorial Director Sara Critchfield, as quoted in this Nieman Lab article on Upworthy’s social success.

FJP: Today’s must read. It’s a thought-provoking piece on social curation and media packaging that not only breaks down a successful curation methodology, but also sheds light on the fact that the way we consume media is not unlike the way we consume food (see: Clay Johnson’s The Information Diet).

Flipboard’s Personalized Magazines
I finally played with the new version of Flipboard’s iOS app, which allows users to create their own magazines. In the first 24 hours, over 100,000 were created by users. 
Here’s much more info about the new app.
FJP: Sort of a dream come true for me. My media habits are generally to bookmark things to read throughout the week on Pocket (formerly Read Later), which is a prettily designed place to store bookmarks and access them across devices. But at the end of a week I never get through what I’ve saved and thus have a backlog of tons of articles. Flipboard’s magazine works in a similar way—you can create content specific magazines by bookmarking things from all over the web or within your Flipboard readings. So, planning to try this out by creating a weekly magazine of my to-reads. Look out for an in-depth review once I get more playtime on this thing.—Jihii
Image: Screenshot of the beginnings of this week’s magazine by @jihiitea

Flipboard’s Personalized Magazines

I finally played with the new version of Flipboard’s iOS app, which allows users to create their own magazines. In the first 24 hours, over 100,000 were created by users

Here’s much more info about the new app.

FJP: Sort of a dream come true for me. My media habits are generally to bookmark things to read throughout the week on Pocket (formerly Read Later), which is a prettily designed place to store bookmarks and access them across devices. But at the end of a week I never get through what I’ve saved and thus have a backlog of tons of articles. Flipboard’s magazine works in a similar way—you can create content specific magazines by bookmarking things from all over the web or within your Flipboard readings. So, planning to try this out by creating a weekly magazine of my to-reads. Look out for an in-depth review once I get more playtime on this thing.—Jihii

Image: Screenshot of the beginnings of this week’s magazine by @jihiitea

5 Steps to a More Balanced Media Diet →

Every month, GOOD invites its readers to a 30-day challenge and offers up a tip or assignment each day. This month, it’s all about spring cleaning…your life. Today’s post, cleaning up your information diet. 

1. Clean up RSS feeds and bookmarks. My Google Reader was the first to get a makeover. I cut out subscriptions that weren’t adding value to my life. TMZ got the axe when I realized that 95 percent of its coverage was of celebrity has-beens and other people I didn’t even know. (TMZ is only great in emergency situations, i.e. Whitney’s death.) Perez Hilton also had to go because the snark is often too egregious and mean-spirited. Both sites post too frequently for me to get through all of their content, so purging those feeds felt like a relief. If you don’t use an RSS, go through your bookmarks folder instead. Ask yourself: Do I trust this source? How much of my  time does it take up? What do I get out of reading this content?

2. Let your social feeds lead you to the good stuff. Check out what your friends are reading on social networks. They’ll likely share stories that interest you. Many of my Facebook friends use theWashington Post Social Reader, so I’m often reading much more from my hometown newspaper because I’m clicking through their links. Also, add a few popular media feeds to your Facebook and Twitter so you’re always getting a good mix. I like to balance between straight news (CNN and NPR), smart culture writing (The AwlJezebelThe Believer), and a few special-interest sites with great writing (ColorlinesGrantland).

3. Set boundaries. You can get carried away on social networks, of course. You may see lots of news stories but only click on the one about Angelina Jolie’s engagement ring. Understandable—it’s a beautiful ring—but the real answer is to set time limits for yourself. I used to keep my Twitter feed open all day but now I only check in the morning and in the evening. Usually, mainstream news sources are updating their top stories in the morning while the evening stream is a bit more random. That means I feel a bit more informed about serious topics at the start of the day and let myself unwind at the end. Set rules for the amount of time you’re willing to spend monitoring a site. Wired has a helpful graphic about how to break up your nearly nine hours of screen time.

4. E-mail articles. If you’re like me, it’s easier for you to act on something if it’s in an e-mail. Instead of searching for ‘serious’ journalism, let it come to you. For $1.99 a month, I subscribe to The Best of Journalism, a newsletter of excellent long-form journalism curated by The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf. Each week, I get to read some of the best sports, science, international, and local reporting on the web. Some of the stories will make you laugh, others will make you tear up, like this recent selection about the rape of men during war. As extra incentive, I won’t move these messages from my inbox until I’ve read every story inside.

5. Embrace overlaps. For a pop culture junkie, #Kony2012 was the perfect storm of highbrow-lowbrow gossip. We got real discussions about Ugandan military policy, and we also got public masturbation. Overlaps like this can be the best way to get your trashy gossip fix while still weaning yourself off the most superficial stories. If you want to expand on your knowledge of celebrity breakups, start shifting to the next best thing: political scandals. If you’re dying to talk about Chris Brown’s latest collaboration with Rihanna, learning more about his actions in the context of domestic violence discourse will elevate the conversation.