How I Consume the News (Without the Television)While I was growing up, it seemed to be a family tradition to sit down for dinner with the TV on. Usually, the night’s news was what flashed across the screen. That was how I stayed current with the latest happenings in the world.

Nowadays, I see a flaw with that method. I was really only seeing whatever it was that the news network we were watching wanted us to see, and even then it could only show us so much in the time block it was given. Let me tell you all, ABC and NBC usually had terrible taste in their pickings, too. Oh, and there was hardly ever anything being talked about that I found interesting (that is, technology or science).

That said, when I began to use the Internet as my primary source of news and current events, I couldn’t believe how much I was missing out on by simply watching television every night. There were issues going on around the world I hardly heard about elsewhere. In addition, I was missing out on the latest advancements in fields I was curious about, which for the most part consisted entirely of science and technology. Lately I’ve been checking in on political events, but I try not to get sucked into that realm too much.

So without further ado, I thought I’d take this time to list out the many ways I consume the news through the Internet. If you already do all these things, great! You should go check up on them rather than continue reading this article if that’s the case!

  • My #1 source of news these days is none other than Reddit. I find Reddit wonderful to use, because the things a large population of people find most interesting or important make their way to the very top, insuring that whenever I check the headlines I am always seeing the most important pieces of information. Another plus is the fact that all of the information is organized into subreddits. This means I can pick and choose the topics I want to hear about on a daily basis, while retaining the ability to see everything that is going on whenever I need to.
  • If I’m not on Reddit, then I usually find my way over to Hacker News (HN). HN is definitely more technology and developer focused, which I happen to enjoy and take an interest in. While most who read it over my shoulders hardly understand what it is that I am reading, I personally find myself learning something new every time I open it up.
  • Then there’s Google News. When I’ve exhausted Reddit and Hacker News, I’ll typically turn to Google. It aggregates most everything that is going on around the Web in one spot, as well as allowing you to select specific subjects of interest. It also typically lets you gauge how popular a particular headline is on the Web, showing multiple sources for the same event.
  • Finally, when all seems lost, I turn to social networks. I keep Twitter and Google+ open all day, scanning every so often for interesting headlines to pop up. Usually, when I miss something on Reddit, Hacker News, or Google News, it’ll show up on Twitter or Google+ a little later in the day. Meanwhile, it’ll show up on Facebook a few weeks later, because that’s just how Facebook rolls, I guess. Social networks, as the term implies, also allow me to immediately involve myself in whatever is actively being discussed, which is a big plus for many people whenever the topic is particularly interesting (or better, when it is controversial). That said, Reddit and Hacker News have lovely folks commenting on these things as well.

And with that, we’ve covered another part of my daily routine. I hope this enables even a few others to better access news that is most important to them and information that they will use to quench their thirsting curiosity.

CC licensed Flickr photo by roger4336