News Sources

A news source that I feel is pitched to me is the Guardian. It covers breaking news stories from around the world and provides analysis of politics and culture that I find interesting. It is written in an easily digestible style without being overly simplistic. Because it is a British newspaper that has a lot of coverage of American news, its tone and point of view on American events are different than the average take on things in our country. In Britain, it is a newspaper that is read by a mainstream audience and is considered to have a politically centrist or center-left point of view. But some of its reporting and opinion pieces are much farther to the left than anything that could be published in a general-audience newspaper in the US. I appreciate that a relatively wide spectrum of viewpoints can be published and compared with each other in a non-sensationalized way.

A magazine that is too dumbed down for me is Time magazine. My parents have had a weekly subscription to Time since I was very young. When I was in elementary and middle school, Time seemed (similar to what the Guardian is for me now) a source for “middlebrow” news – a good level of both depth and breadth on a variety of issues. Unfortunately, in recent years the quality has decreased noticeably, probably because of the struggle to remain in business during a tough time for news media companies. Nowadays, Time writes a lot of sensationalized stories about current fad diets and devotes an ever larger section of their magazine to celebrity gossip and “fun facts.” Online, I see links to Time articles advertised which are the definition of clickbait, with titles like “Top 10 Reasons for…” or “You won’t believe…” I see these types of articles as attention-seeking and manipulative of the reader and try to avoid reading them.

A style of news source that I often find difficult to appreciate are longer-form articles like those published in the New Yorker or Harper’s magazine. When I have time, I like to read these sources, but often find it hard to get through an article in a single sitting. They require me to use a lot more mental exertion than my brain is used to giving when I read. Most of the time I read the news is either as a distraction or as a break from studying and working, and the length of the average article or essay in these sources makes them too long to read in the snippets of free time here and there when I normally consume information. However, last year I made it through most of a Harper’s magazine copy while at my grandma’s house during winter vacation and felt like I got a lot out of it.  If I get more time on my hands once I graduate from Michigan, I would like to start reading more of this style of news.

 

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