Though I pride myself on being informed, I find that as soon as school starts up again I retreat back under the rock that is stress and fleeting time. The amount of news I actually consume is laughably small, and I’m actually embarrassed to say how little I actually pay attention to current events while I run from class to group meeting to bar.
However, there are a few sources that I tend to gravitate toward. And a few that I tend to spurn. In terms of sources I find below me, I think Huffington Post is right down there at the bottom. Sometimes I find myself scrolling through my Facebook feed and seeing the same inane and poorly written post cropping up all over my page. And though I don’t think that it necessarily “bad” writing, I do think it lacks a certain level of integrity. Started as a blog, the roots of the source as still prevalent as a slew of who’s-not is allowed to publish repetitive and onenote liberal arguments. When I scroll the pages of the site, I recognize that their purpose of providing a low-impact and and low-quality news source is important. However I find it’s lack of complexity to be disappointing to say the least–especially as they grapple with issues that have so much meat.
On the opposite end of spectrum, I find a majority of my peers reading the Wall Street Journal. Because I am in the business school, it’s pretty much a constant staple. Instead of scrolling Twitter feeds in class, students will lazily scroll the online Business sections. But the WSJ has always been a hard beast for me to tackle personally. While I don’t believe it’s actually written at a level that renders me incapable of comprehension it, I do think it subscribes to a style that is personally taxing for me to read. The WSJ frequently utilizes abbreviations and employs discussions that can only be understood easily by industry insiders. This doesn’t mean you have to be an industry insider to enjoy its prose–it just helps. For this reason, I would rather not struggle to understand what I don’t already and instead opt to pay attention in class so that one day I too can leisurely skim the pages of the Wall Street Journal and not feel like I’m completing some oddly worded puzzle.
So on two opposite spectrums for me reside the HuffPo and the WSJ. So what is it that tantalizes me to read more? What is my Goldilocks “just right” news moment? Recently, it’s been Der Spiegel, the German news magazine. I consume it through it’s online website, purusing whenever I find a break from my constant quest to do more. I like it because it challenges me without pushing me to boredom, and it covers a variety of topics. I thoroughly enjoy the International section, and love to read it in comparison with American news outlets to see where the national origins of news cause differences. It’s written in a simple yet elegant style. That’s what has drawn me to the publication in the past year and why I continue to go back.
But just because one is too “soft” and one is too “hard” doesn’t mean I only stick to the news source that is “just right.” I like to challenge myself, and I like to see what other people are consuming for news. There isn’t just one perfect news source. There’s just learning what way to consume the news (and what style news you gravitate toward) is right for you.