It’s a really good question and one which we actually bat around in this house, probably because Garry spent his life as a television reporter and I did some time reporting too. It was easier back in our day. We didn’t have to contend with social media. Bloggers weren’t considered “reporters.” And a reporter was required to adhere to truth as it is commonly understood.
So here’s the question:
For us, the answer is pretty easy. I get online copies of the Washington Post, The New York Times, and National Geographic and a hard copy of The New Yorker.
We watch the national news as well as some local news. Garry is still pretty well-connected with a variety of working and retired colleagues, so when something interesting or different comes up, he checks with people who are still working, people who know people and whatever sources he knows. Between what he can dig up and reading, we collect a lot of information.
We don’t watch Fox News. Ever.
The Washington Post has some brilliant writers and when they work at it, their articles make me wish I’d written them. I can say the same thing about the New York Times. Not everything written — in both papers — is equally good. They have stringers who are okay writers and some who aren’t particularly good, but when they put together a major piece, it’s usually top of the line. I get a lot of background (and some good laughs) from The New Yorker. And much to my surprise, a great deal of very interesting background information about everything going on in the world in National Geographic. It’s nothing like the magazine was when we were growing up. It covers current science, facts, and does it with style and the absolutely most amazing photography I’ve seen anywhere.
We also watch TV news, but most of the news that I trust I get from the newspapers and magazines. Also, while I don’t subscribe to it, I do get a daily summary from Bloomberg. Whatever you think of the man, his news is news. Facts, figures, and detailed information.
Between all of these sources — all of which are mostly objective — I think we get a good idea of what’s going on and what it means. I also get a lot of information from online friends I’ve met as commenters on my blog. This is how I find out how people who live in Australia, Switzerland, England, New Zealand, and elsewhere feel about stories that are sweeping the world.
I don’t read as much news as I did when you-know-who was president. We don’t have a national calamity twenty times a day and at least one before breakfast coffee, but I do like to pick out the stories which interest me and this can vary from day to day. It’s also how I read blogs. I look for either someone who always interests me or an idea that piques my interest.
I ration the amount of news I read. I need to leave some time to write my own stuff, too.