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Where do you get your news from?

February 9th, 2009 | by Klaus Holzapfel |
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 29:  The New York Times bu...
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Blogs and micro-blogs have greatly enhanced my communication: I can reach out, I can share, comment, learn etc.

Here is what they can’t do:

They will not replace papers and magazines as my #1 resource of information.

Why?
Comparing a leading paper and news blog might explain where I am coming from:

Look and feel
The Huffington post and NYT and they simple don’t match up. One is a blog (and looks like a blog) – the other is an online paper (at least for me) with social media features. But it still resembles the look and feel of a paper.

Writers
Arianna Huffington has found a great number of contributors. But they don’t match up against Tom Friedman, Paul Krugman and co.

First hand information

The NYT can (still) afford a network of international correspondents. Someone sending a Tweet from a war zone is not the same to me as a seasoned reporter sharing his findings.

Story selection
Blogs and papers are different in that respective as well. Blogs will focus on what gets them readers. A paper has to keep this in mind as well but its main purpose is to present the news – no matter how popular or unpopular they are. They serve the public – not so much a target audience.

Fragmentation
Our media landscape is highly fragmented and segmented. The one area where that is not completely true are the main papers. My dad calls me and asks me “have you read this”. In most cases the answer is yes and he is not referring to blogs. Papers make for the better water cooler talk – even if you don’t have one.

Personal habits
This is maybe the biggest reason. I’ve been reading the same papers for two to three decades. I switched to their online versions by now. I am accustomed to their way of feeding my brain.

Bloggers have a different writing style. Maybe geared more towards replies and instant gratification? By now I am used to that in areas of information that papers don’t traditionally own. But for sports, politics, economy, arts, etc. my brain still prefers “old style”.

As for reliability of information
Most bloggers are doing a great job in getting their facts straight. Plus self regulation through commenting works.

On the other hand papers have had epic slips. I remember the Hitler diaries being published by one of the most credible sources in Germany. Only to find out later they were forged. Ouch.

Bloggers were also not the ones that lost their voice during the 9/11 aftermath. It was called embedded journalism and not embedded blogging.

I greatly respect many bloggers and the work they put into sharing. This is not to belittle any of them.

But these are the main reasons why each of my online days still begins and ends with the websites of the leading papers. And that’s why I would gladly subscribe to my favorite papers if this will save them.

As for Twitter:
That’s a whole separate story. But I post too much about Twitter already. Time to exercise some self constraint.

As for TV:
The last meaningful TV news coverage (except elections) must have been on CNN during desert storm. Ok, I am overstating a little but you get my point.

Where do you get your news from?
Or are you one of those who stick to the neighborhood newsletter? ;-)

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  1. 7 Responses to “Where do you get your news from?”

  2. By Paulette on Feb 9, 2009 | Reply

    I get my news from a combination of trad'l outlets (print/online) and Twitter/Facebook. I have a hard time keeping up with all the bloggers I'd like to read and I find that Twitter/Facebook point me to interesting articles from trad'l news outlets, alert me to bloggers/groups I've never heard of but am glad to know about, help direct me to posts from bloggers I like to hear from w/o me having to remember to log into my Google reader, which I just never do. I find myself more and more disenchanted with TV news because I'm too aware that the ethos is entertainment –irregardless of topic–rather than realtime, accessible presentation of news items, which is not the same thing as "entertaining" news.

  3. By Dave Taylor on Feb 10, 2009 | Reply

    I have to admit it, I have been phasing out all of the printed materials in my life in preference to my RSS feeds, email newsletters and Twitterstream. The kinesthetic of paper is a big win, no question, but the timeliness and "green" of digital ultimately wins out for me.

  4. By Elneclare on Feb 18, 2009 | Reply

    the moment I log on to my computer, BBC headlines start to scroll at the top of my screen. Breaking news alerts will pop up if anything happen over the last ew hours I need to check in case the world was destroyed while I slept. then depending on how I feel about needing constant chatter, I have tweetdeck and twitterfox to keep up with friends and the several newspapers and reporters and a freelance cameraman, I know through my friends.

  5. By Elneclare on Feb 18, 2009 | Reply

    the moment I log on to my computer, BBC headlines start to scroll at the top of my screen. Breaking news alerts will pop up if anything happen over the last few hours I need to check in case the world was destroyed while I slept. then depending on how I feel about needing constant chatter, I have tweetdeck and twitterfox to keep up with friends and the several newspapers and reporters and a freelance cameraman, I know through my friends.

    Then when I'm awake enough to deal with my eail, I get headlines from the NY Times and the Washington Post as well as briefs from Huffington and Politico. As I short through my emeail I'll open tabs for any headline that grabs my attention, stopping to read those that seem to be major news at the moment.

    I'm less likely to turn on the TV News unless bored or find some news draws enough of my interest that I may turn on cable news (never Fox though) I like watching MSNBC in the evening during the election coverage to hear talking heads go at each other, but with a S.O. that wasn't in to politics, often the channel would get change to TCM or AMC, so it was back to my computer for me.

    As to local news, I find the coverage so poorly done that if anything is worth my time, I'll likely hear about it from non local news coverage. The Baltimore Sun has been whittled down to point that recently I found it barely gives me something to read that wasn't printed in the Times or Post that day.

    I'm a news junkie, who was raised on having to sit quietly during the news and getting the Sunday New York times after church. We lived just outside Washington D.C. when I got interested in reading more then just the comics and still remember reading the small story on the Watergate Burglary and talking to my mom about how suspicious it seem to the two of us. Each day after we would check for updates and soon my mom was talking about impeachment. The Hearings were the drug that had me addicted. My oldest daughter was addicted when we stayed with my mom and she watch C-Span every morning. I do OD sometimes and will go a few days avoiding all news to recover, but soon find myself needing a fix and back to checking the headlines first thing in the morning.

  6. By Red on Apr 16, 2009 | Reply

    In the mornig i read some newspaper.
    In the afternoon i read new blogs on the internet and just search for some news online.
    and sometimes i watch TV fpr the news.

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