For the past several years I’ve regularly told people that I get most of my news from Twitter. It’s the best place to be if you want almost real-time breaking news, commentary, and updates from journalists. And it’s totally free.
Nowadays, I get the vast majority of my news from the radio. When I wake up in the morning, I’ll listen to Morning Report on my local NPR station. When I get home from work around 5:10pm, it’s South Carolina NPR once again.
When I’m getting ready for bed around 9-9:30pm, I listen to Marketplace from America Public Media via Overcast.
That’s the extent of my news consumption nowadays. Occasionally I’ll be on Twitter and check what’s trending, but I hardly even do that anymore.
I’m done with the constant hour-by-hour stream of what-has-Trump-done-this-time. I’m no longer interested in all of the latest details of the Russia investigation. Mueller can do his thing, and I’ll do my thing.
Getting my news from the radio is good for me because it prevents me from over-consuming. I have a physical, real-world radio and it’s only ever tuned to one station. I can only listen to Morning Report for so long because eventually it turns into Walter Edgar’s journal or Nature Notes (Two local programs that are anything but news. Which is good.)
When you’re an avid Twitter news consumer like I was, the stream of “news” never stops. You can keep refreshing, over and over again. You can constantly find new accounts with new analysis and commentary. You can find what you want to hear.
When I listen to NPR, I hear on-the-ground reporting from locations all around the world. I hear about stories that won’t spread like wildfire on Twitter. I hear about the first vegan soccer team and the sustainability efforts made by their owner.
I’ll take that any day over learning about whatever the hell Stormy Daniel’s lawyer is up to.
Or reading knee jerk reactions to every single POTUS tweet.
Since making this change to getting my news from the radio, I feel like my understanding of what’s happening in the world is getting deeper. Before, it felt like I was constantly wading around in the shallow end of the pool.
I think using Twitter to get news can still be a very good thing. It’s just that the environment doesn’t lend well to consuming in moderation. At least for me.