Design

How Do You Get Your News?

6 Ways to Follow the News

For almost a decade before I came to Cup of Jo, the news was my job, so staying up on current events felt like second nature. But now that I’m a civilian, I don’t always have the time or instinct to read everything, even though my appetite for news has stayed strong. (I still check my phone if I wake up in the middle of the night!) Here are six ways I keep track of what’s going on…

Google News
The original news aggregator, Google News, been around in some form since 2002 (!) — pre-iPhone, pre-Twitter and pre-Huffington Post — and it’s as useful as ever. I set it as the homepage of my desktop browser, so whenever I open up my computer the top headlines are right there, sourced from thousands of different organizations around the world. My favorite thing is how it divides articles into “highly cited,” “in depth,” “real time,” “opinion,” etc., so whether I want to see the most talked about story on a particular event, the most recent one or a more comprehensive analytical take, I can find it instantly.

NPR One
I listen to this free National Public Radio app when I’m cooking or walking around the city. Every time you open it up, you hear a five-minute news briefing that’s updated hourly. What I love the most is how NPR One mixes up straight-ahead news with more offbeat stories and podcast episodes, like This American Life or Code Switch. If you don’t want to listen to something in any given moment, though, you just tap a forward arrow to skip it. You’re basically your own news DJ.

An Old-Fashioned Newspaper
Print may die at some point, and I will be sad, but while it’s still around it offers one of the best parts of following the news: serendipity. As you flip through a paper, your eye lands on stories you might not have clicked into online. During my first week at The New York Times, one of my bosses told me the best way to stay informed — and break out of your personal news bubble — is to scan every page and section of a newspaper. I still do this often (we subscribe to the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal); I also like picking up a local paper when traveling.

The International Perspective
Sometimes I find the way U.S. outlets present the news to be frenetic and exhausting. (Have you noticed that 99% of the time CNN has a “Breaking News” banner?) So, I often visit BBC News, The Guardian, Al Jazeera, The Economist or other global sites. (If you speak a foreign language, many non-English outlets’ coverage offers the same tone shift.) The BBC in particular has always defined itself as independent and balanced, so if you’re craving a source for election news that feels more even-handed, check out the BBC’s coverage.

Email Newsletters
Signing up for a few good newsletters and reading them when you’re in the mood will give you a solid, quick hit of the news. Some of the best are: Economist Espresso, Next Draft, The New York Times Morning Briefing, The Pnut (pronounced “peanut”), the Quartz Daily Brief and The Skimm (though I wish its branding didn’t hint that women need an easier news experience than men).

Journalists on Facebook
Twitter’s character limit can be restrictive, but Facebook gives journalists a powerful way to speak directly to their readers. I subscribe to a handful of reporters, editors and broadcasters on Facebook who share fascinating posts in my news feed. A few favorites: Brian Stelter of CNN, Jodi Kantor of The New York Times and Dan Rather, who has been killing it on Facebook, so much so that The Atlantic and other publications have taken notice.

Which of these do you do? (I switch it up!) Do you have any other sources?

(Photo of Alfred Hitchcock by Philippe Halsman.)

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  2. All great tools! I get most of my news from Twitter and theSkimm!

  3. Meg says...

    I get NYT delivered F-S. Way prefer it to reading on the web.
    When I read online I am overwhelmed by volume. I get distracted online.
    I feel like I just get a bunch of sound bites when I read online.

    I like NPR and tv news but with kids I never turn it on.
    Why not shelter them from the world on fire when a can.

    I am 40 but I bet more of your readers are millenials. It’ll be interesting to compare how Gen Y & younger gets the news without Gawker.

  4. Ramona says...

    Sometimes I think reading the local paper is almost more important than reading national papers, because at least in my city it is the local reporters who go out and uncover the things that really affect my life and that I feel that I might have the power to influence. Like for example our local papers recently did a series of reports about high lead levels in the drinking water at our public schools, which of course is a major source of concern for me as a mom and is definitely something I wanted to learn more about and talk to my local politicians about. I also love reading truly well-written in-depth pieces, like those in the New Yorker or the New York Times magazine.

  5. Jenny says...

    Such a great post! This is just one reason I love this blog- interesting and current content!

    Making some changes now to update my newsfeed abs be better, easily informed.

  6. Does anyone have suggestions for an news email list that’s similar to the Skimm but more unisex?

    The brevity and banter is great, but I could do without the cliche young girl stereotype.

    • Erica says...

      I loathe the dumbing down of The Skimm so I MUCH prefer Need2Know. It’s nearly identical, just less “ditzy” in its language.

    • Noreen says...

      YES!!! Could not agree more.

  7. I’m all for the digital feeds. It makes life easier. I just can’t support the Twitter, FB posts from harden journalists. I subscribe to three papers in hopes that my albeit small contribution will keep papers alive. Also I’m a huge advocate of local papers. I read the papers of surrounding communities because you never know what you’ll find. Great opinion piece? Coverage of a fest that might be fun with the family? Small surprises hidden in the local yokel.

  8. Great article! I used to be a TV news journalist here in Australia and have found as a “civilian” now too that I’m rarely grabbed by news. When I do read it though its the digital versions you can buy on an iPad and my preferred paper is the NYTimes because they cover important world issues. I find most papers here get caught up in unimportant local news for the sake of being ‘local’.

  9. Patricia says...

    Being aware of what is in the news I find important, but I don’t like to put a lot of effort into finding them. In Europe I feel it is even more important to have quality world news compared to the U.S. I use therefore mainly reddit (obsessed with it) and Facebook news pages and journalists.

  10. Social media! I just wake up to people raging on Facebook and Twitter. Sometimes, their opinions come with links to news outfits (and others…um, to unreliable sources) and I try to read up on what’s relevant. I find hard news (especially since most of it are politics) very exhausting!

  11. I subscribed to NextDraft, Quartz, and Daily Pnut yesterday after reading this and I’m already in love. It’s inspired me to unsubscribe from all the meaningless emails in my inbox!

    • Lexi Mainland says...

      Great!

  12. Lisa says...

    I am based in the UK and subscribe to the NYT and get a free subscription to the Financial Times through work.
    I used to like the Times (the UK one) but stopped reading it once they put it behind the pay wall (though ironically I’m quite happy to pay for the NYT). I periodically read The Guardian (or grauniad as it’s known, due to their lack of spellchecking) and The Telegraph which is at the other end of the political spectrum in the UK. I’m not enthralled by either to be honest. I sometimes (rarely) go on the BBC website but I had a break from them a few years ago as they annoyed me too much. The writing is terrible and it’s not super accurate (or as unbiased as its famed to be). For example, articles about the African continent are either doom and gloom or patronising. I find the French newspapers are the quickest for getting news as it breaks

    • Lexi Mainland says...

      Grauniad is really funny. I hadn’t heard that one!

  13. BP says...

    I’m obsessed with the AppleNews app, which you can access on an iphone or ipad. I sort of ignored it for a while and then spent the time to figure it out. You can choose from a zillion newspapers (including NYT, Guardian, etc.), news sites (BBC, Bloomberg), magazines (The Atlantic, Time, New Yorker, New York), fun sites (The Cut), etc., etc. You can also choose topics you’re interested in – like the latest on politics, world, sports, arts & entertainment, etc. And you get a personal newsfeed that refreshes when you want it to and gives you all the head lines and you can click through. It’s free on iphones -including the content behind it.

  14. Allison says...

    Ah, I deeply appreciate this post! These days I rely on NPR One & the NYT (via the app or website — I wish I could justify a paper subscription, but can’t as a budgeted & busy grad student). In college, though, I didn’t know how to begin to follow the news — names and titles were familiar from hearing NPR in the background all my life, but I didn’t have context or background to understand the stories themselves. Finally, one summer, I took an Intro to IR class in which our professor had us watch BBC’s One-Minute World News at the start of class each morning. That was an enormous help. By the end of the summer, I felt I had a strong grasp on world events and could confidently read & follow the news on my own. Now when people ask me how to start following the news, I recommend they start watching the BBC One-Minute and/or listening to NPR’s five-minute news summaries, and refer to Vox and the Council on Foreign Relations for context & background information.

  15. Molly says...

    I love the Skimm and BBC News. I personally love that the Skimm is informal and satirical. The other news outlets are painfully boring for me to read. Plus I usually just want the highlights, rather than read a long article. I like BBC because it seems that any major news worthy thing appears first there. I’ve tested the theory a couple of times, so that’s why I stick with it. For non-news related things, I love NYT for their food and real estate sections!

  16. Laura says...

    Twitter! It’s so much more real-time than my Facebook feed.

    I also love Snapchat to get more video commentary, and to me it feels more authentic than a lot of the videos on popular news outlets. I love their featured stories, but also follow NPR.

  17. E says...

    I read a lot of blogs and traditional news sources and I really miss Andrew Sullivan, but sometimes Facebook is where I get the best stuff. Over time I have found and liked a lot of Facebook pages that share quality news links. Each has a agenda, but with the right combo of pages it means that my FB feed is a great news source that highlights issues I care about and voices that don’t always make it into the mainstream papers. Intercontinental Cry, the author Junot Diaz and the magazine High Country News have been really impressing me lately.

  18. Karrie says...

    You can sign up on The Week’s website for their “10 things you need to know today” e-mail subscription. Basically, it is a daily briefing of the biggest headlines that I can quickly read while drinking my coffee in the morning. Like everything The Week puts out, I feel like it’s a very concise and keeps me in tune with what is going on in our country, and worldwide.

  19. Ali says...

    Another Skimm fan here. I think it does a great job of hooking people in an engaging way who would otherwise not follow news at all. Especially because if you don’t already keep up with current events, it can be intimidating not to know where to start.

    I like that it also includes a brief background on ongoing issues if you hadn’t been following and wouldn’t know how to get a summary on it.

    I’ve turned a few no-news friends onto it. And while it does read a bit “girly” my husband clearly does not care and also subscribes to it!

  20. I love The Skimm and also the NYT, but I find myself being super judicious with what to click on so I don’t hit my ten article limit too fast. It might be time to bite the bullet and buy a subscription. I will look into the NYT Morning Briefing. Thank you for all the tips!

    • Leah says...

      I’m right there with you, Rebecca, with being careful about my NYT 10 article limit! I haven’t wanted to spend the $$ on a subscription.

    • pamela gene daley says...

      You can now get a digital only subscription to NYT! Cheap – I just switched.

  21. CK says...

    Frank Somerville, a Bay Area news anchor, is like watching a handsome dad deliver the news each night – we’ve since moved out of state, and I miss him dearly! He also has a great Facebook account where he posts about local, national, and international news stories as well as his family. He has an adopted daughter, and his perspectives on adoption and race are especially poignant.

    Love me some Frank and the NYT app that offers breaking news notifications on my phone, as well as the local Sunday newspaper. :)

  22. Rob says...

    Good question. My first go to is newspapers and national news agencies (i.e. the “old school” media): CBC, Toronto Star, Globe and Mail (I’m Canadian!), NYT, Guardian, etc. Good to scan the headlines and keep up with the daily news. Next is magazines and long-form journalism. The best source I’ve found for this an app called Longform, which aggregates and curates long-form journalism from lots of great sources. Lastly, specific blogs of interest. However, my absolute fav is the print Sunday NYT by far! Nothing like holding a good paper in your hands.

  23. campbell says...

    Thank you so much for saying that about The Skimm! I’ve felt this forever and am so grateful that someone said it publicly. Their branding does suggest women need a simpler approach to the news (and lines like “Russia and Iran are totally frenemies” makes me squirm).

  24. Lexi, thank you for covering this relevant and informative subject during election season. Brilliant. I believe most media outlets have been so ridiculously hungry for rating these past six months and only publishing stories with shock vs. news value. It’s becoming tougher to locate where one can go for information presented with integrity and relevance. Thank you.

  25. Emily S. says...

    I enjoy reading the NYT and the Guardian.

    NPR is on in my car all the time! I also look at the BBC online.

  26. Betsie says...

    In the past few years I’ve been trying to follow more news from black and POC sources. I recommend Colorlines for this! I also read Two Smart Brothas, though it’s more commentary.

    I’ve come to be pretty irritated by the NYT’s elitist tone, and have found ThinkProgress and Mic.com to be good progressive alternative news sources. For local news, I look to the good ol’ Boston Globe.

  27. Maureen says...

    As a British person who used to read BBC news every day, I can say, unfortunately, it is not balanced and even handed (even though it’s supposed to be).

    • Lisa says...

      I agree. I also stopped reading it because I found the quality of the writing to be terrible – it reads like something written for 8 year olds (which is fine for 8 year olds but not for adults). They’re also not super hot on fact checking. I’ve sent them corrections on their articles a number of times in the past

  28. Klara says...

    I don’t…

    Watching the news gave me panic attacks more than once during the past 15 years, so I never watch on TV. I’m convinced that people’s brains aren’t wired to receive that amount of (whipped up) information and images of dead people and other horrors (just as Ruby Wax puts it in “Sane New World”).

    I do know what’s happening in the world because everybody talkes about it. When I want to know more (like the terrorist attacks in Brussels, 40 kms from my house), I will check the country’s only “quality” newspaper online.

    What I WOULD watch is “happy” news. Wouldn’t it be great if some producer or TV-channel stepped up and would start a news program that would report everything that is going right, actions to make the world better, empowering and hopeful stuff. Because that stuff is happening as well, but no one reports it on a large scale.

    • Laura says...

      There are publications out that that report on positive stuff – http://www.theoptimist.com/comes to mind. And I *think* (I definitely stand corrected) that some mainstream publications have tried to have sections on positive stories. And guess what? They lost readership numbers because people wanted the car crash news, not the happy stuff.

    • Susan Speir says...

      Thx for mentioning that. Interestingly… No one mentions it, but within the Christian Science Monitor, (!) you can often find objective reporting, citing good in depth sources, & often, a kinder, (thus more uplifting) perspective. (BTW I’m NOT a Christian)

  29. Susie C. says...

    The Week Magazine! A fellow mom recommended it and I have since given a subscription to every family member who love it just as much. The magazine summarizes key news from all over the world and shares the left and right commentary.

  30. Jessica says...

    I definitely enjoy the news. We get two newspapers delivered, Wall Street Journal and our local paper. I flip through them every morning with a cup of coffee. And, believe it or not, I have been reading the newspaper every morning since I was about 15. I also check CNN and get BBC alerts.

  31. Laurie says...

    The Zolt App is my latest find for quick news on my phone. Really clear summaries, great images with everything, and a solid swipe interface.
    The Guardian for breaking news alerts; NPR and BBC via news brief on echo.

  32. Alex says...

    Twitter is absolutely where I go for the latest, breaking news — far superior to Facebook.

    • Ditto!!

  33. I love the NYT Morning Briefing–it’s the first email I read when I get to work each day (with a cup of joe, of course). I’m SO GLAD you called CNN out on their ‘Breaking News’ headline. It drives me crazy that they start every segment with that phrase! Print is definitely still the best, especially on the weekend…

  34. What a wonderful resource for aspiring journalists/writers :)

    Sarah
    SarahJaiheLee.com

  35. Amy says...

    Connie Schultz is another great journalist to follow on Facebook (definitely left of center but thoughtful and carefully monitors comments to require civil discourse). The other primary source that I’d mention: podcasts! In particular, the PBS NewsHour is great about having their broadcast from evening before available for download ahead of am commute. I listen to this each morning on the train.

  36. Katie says...

    i’m biased because i work there, but in new york city the best place for local news is DNAinfo.com. it’s really the only reliable place to neighborhood coverage anymore in the city. you can subscribe to different neighborhood newsletters, as well as newsletters by topics (real estate, crime.)

    • Lexi Mainland says...

      Two thumbs up to DNAi for sure.

  37. Ingrid says...

    Thank you! I had no idea how to get news online. (Old person!)

  38. I actually still get my news from the local broadcast every morning! My local team is hilarious so it’s (usually) a fun way to start the day.

    Kristina does the Internets

  39. M says...

    BBC all the way. I got so sick of the spin you get from CNN/NBC/Fox News. It’s refreshing to have a more neutral and distant perspective.

  40. Gen says...

    New Yorker in my opinion is the most well written news. For daily news – Vox, Al Jazeera, Quartz, NY Times

  41. You might also add CBC news for a Canadian perspective. cbc.ca.

    • Lexi Mainland says...

      CBC is awesome, totally agreed!

  42. Jane says...

    So helpful, thank you.

  43. I use a CNN app on my phone for global news, but I hate how Facebook filters news via their algorithm. I fear that I am constantly only being fed news that I want to see, versus what is really going on. I am left leaning, and that tends to be the only news showing up on my news feed. I have started using google news to get a better picture.

    xoxo http://www.touchofcurl.com

    • Sarah says...

      Agree!

  44. I listen to NPR One every morning as I get ready for work. It’s such a great resource for listening to national, international and local news! Since I have my phone on me all morning as I wander through my routine, the news follows me from room to room.

  45. Paulina says...

    I tried google news but didn’t like the sources for my country’s news so I stopped using it, but I like the other alternatives I’ll give them a try thanks!

  46. Cynthia says...

    I read the Richmond Times-Dispatch(Va.) and during the school year, I listen to NPR going to and coming from work. I don’t read all the news, because it can get depressing, but I really like the human interest stories. I feel that we are bombarded with so much.

  47. I’ve been reading the Skimm for awhile now and I have to say, I love it and I feel so much more informed but it’s not dry content. I’m definitely going to check out some of these other links.

  48. Jen says...

    I listen to NPR or Glenn Beck during my commute (I know two totally different ends of the spectrum). Then read the Skimm email when i get to work, it’s always hit or miss with me. The rest of the day i jump around to different sites (BBC, NYT, Wash Post, etc.) and exchange interesting stories with my husband. He is a news junkie and we like to one up each other on the latest. When I get home CNN is turned on and its my go to for all the big coverage.

    I used to go to Drudge Report but have been turned off by them for the past few years. Recently i’ve been visiting a new website called 180report.com that like Drudge collects top headlines but unlike Drudge has both left and right leaning stories. It always intrigues me how the same story can be reported so differently depending on where you are getting it. As you can tell i try and keep myself well rounded.

  49. For most news I go to Twitter 1st, then I follow individual writers/news casters either on twitter/fb, sometimes I listen to podcasts (generally from NPR)….and then there’s the trending stories on both Facebook and Twitter.

  50. Megan says...

    I receive Bill Moyer’s daily newsletter in my inbox, listen to NPR in the car/when walking & watch BBC World News.

  51. Erica H. says...

    That was helpful! Thanks :)

  52. This was such a helpful post! I don’t know how I missed Google News, but it’s now going to be my favorite.

  53. jen says...

    I actually use Twitter to get my latest news. It’s a source for everything any anything.

  54. Roxana says...

    I get my news almost entirely online and I’m probably the only person who will say this (haha!), but I check DRUDGE multiple times a day. I often end-up reading the AP, WSJ, NYT, Washington Post, and Al-Jezeera through the links. I do also check CNN, BBC (I agree! It does feel even-handed), Christian Post and Breitbart. My husband listens to NPR in the car and often tells me what he’s heard. Generally speaking, I do not trust the media (at all – there is always some kind of bias), so I try to spread it out. I’ll even check Fox News and MSNBC. Even if I don’t read the articles, the headlines are so telling: the way they are worded and then there are some stories that one outlet will simply not cover and vice versa.

    Doing this is sometimes very tiring and distressing. There is a lot to read. I sometimes take breaks and won’t check the news for a few days.

    I’m 37 and have never heard of The Skimm. Haha! :)

    Great post!

    • Elizabeth says...

      Ditto on Drudge. I’d say I get 90% of my news online and about 80% of that from the links on Drudge. I also check Slate and The Atlantic for the “other” side of stories and for more long form articles. I try to remember that all news is reported by a human, so it will have some slant or another. And if it doesn’t affect me in my daily life, I can’t let myself get too upset about it. It’s so easy to feel like the world is falling apart if you expose yourself to too much news!

    • Chris says...

      Me too. I read the news, for the most part, online!

      I used to watch the local news on TV but, the stations here are constantly pushing agendas and, sensationalizing “bad” news to incite viewers. No thanks!

      It’s good to be informed, however, I don’t want to be made to feel “how bad” things are.

      Because of this, I also take breaks, but for longer periods of time.

  55. Meg says...

    Thank you for this post- it’s timely for me because I’m thinking about leaving Facebook and the only thing keeping me on is because I follow so many news outlets there and enjoy reading the articles! These alternatives may give me the final push I need . . . . x

    • Jenny says...

      Me too!

  56. Annie says...

    I recently discovered The Skimm and I love it. It usually makes actually laugh out loud, too. It’s just a brief update on the day’s news in an easy-to-understand language (sometimes with hilarious metaphors). I absolutely love it and want everyone to read it, so you guys should check it out!

  57. Jennifer O. says...

    I listen to NPR in the morning getting ready for work and I’m one of those few people who still watch the evening news (gasp!).

  58. There’s been such a great run of articles these last few weeks. This one is no exception! I need to utilize Google News!

  59. I LOVE The Skimm! It’s my favorite way to start my morning. I read them when I wake up and it’s so nice to have summarized information that’s written in such a humorous & succinct way. I have turned several friends onto it too :)

  60. Alessandra says...

    Thank you very much for these tips :) I like reading news in English cause it helps me to learn the language better :) Especially the newsletters are interesting for me I didn’t know about them :)

  61. Its so hard to escape the current trending topic, I feel we get too much of it.

    Shruthi
    http://nyambura.co

  62. Louisa says...

    I LOVE THE SKIMM!

  63. while i get ready in the AM or drive to work, i listen to the radio… it’s not in depth so if it’s interesting, i’ll look it up when i get to the office.

    i watch PBS news sometimes while making dinner, or the local news.. .

    most of the breaking news, i get from twitter or FB.

  64. Laura says...

    I’m in Canada, so like many good Canadians, I read CBC news. For American news, always NYT or NPR. For the past few years I really like the Guardian in the UK; the Brits really have a way with words, and as someone else pointed out, the BBC has become so neutral it’s boring. The Guardian also has a huge range of features and articles that cover what is happening in the UK, Europe as well as North America. Otherwise, Germany’s Der Spiegel has some of the best analysis (and a dedicated English version of it’s website) so I check back there pretty often for more in depth articles.

  65. Laura C says...

    I use to listen to the radio early in the morning. I do really like the radio. In my 20’s I liked to hear some music stations but now I like to hear people talking. And I am only 38!!!
    Long live the paper press!!

  66. Kate says...

    I haven’t watched the news regularly for almost 20 years, since I realized how much the sensationalized stories were stressing me out or affecting my mood. For news, I usually check CNN.com multiple times throughout the day and use the news feed that appears when I swipe right on my iphone. I also have the Flipboard app, which allows to choose the types of content you are interested in and sends emails as well. I really like the Wall Street Journal, but am not currently a subscriber.

  67. Lucy says...

    The Pool is also a fun news source targeted at women but with quite big name writers and a feminist ethos- it’s UK based but for those unhappy with the Skimm it might be worth a look. BBC Radio 4 is far and away better than the online news and you can get great programmes to download via iPlayer like Crossing Continents or From our own Correspondent.

  68. Cheka says...

    I feel like I’m probably the youngest subscriber (and I’m not young!) but in addition to many of the sources you listed, I also subscribe to our local paper, and you put your finger on why – it’s the serendipity of discovering/stumbling across/finding out about events in and dynamics of my mid-size Southern community that I otherwise wouldn’t find out about through my everyday social network. Great post today!

  69. I also really enjoy the MorningBrew http://morningbrewdaily.com/?kid=9PHPD
    It’s another daily newsletter that hits your inbox super early, which I appreciate so that I can read it while I’m getting ready. It’s focus is on the business news and markets, but puts it in an easy to read format.

  70. Natalie Brennan says...

    Thank you for this, Lexi! I get overwhelmed by all the news streaming constantly. Off to sign up for some newsletters now!

  71. Emily says...

    I feel the same about the Skimm, it is too cutesy and am bothered some of their stories seem like click-bait. I appreciate the suggestion of Next Draft. I am going to sign up now!

    • Jessica says...

      I also agree about The Skimm. It just gives off this vibe to me that women can’t actually enjoy reading the news unless it’s “cute-sied” up? Just my take on it.

    • Jenny says...

      Agreed!

    • pamela gene daley says...

      LOVE LOVE Next Draft! Dave is terrific and his topics are always interesting and often new to me.

  72. Keeley says...

    For those insulted by the tone of TheSkimm, it could be because you/we aren’t the demographic. Many young women I know love TheSkimm because it finally makes catching up on current events approachable and fun. A friend of mine says it’s her “gateway” to more serious news – because she has the background on world events she can dig into those that interest or intrigue her on longer format news sources.

    • Heather says...

      I wondered the same thing. I am 28, and I may just be 5-10 years too old for it. I think it’s demographic window is small and likely college aged.

    • Summer says...

      Funny, because I’m 34 and love the Skimm. I enjoy NPR and other news sources too, and I’ve followed the news on tv since I was a kid (so it’s not like I’m just now interested in current events). Honestly, I just got tired of feeling like shit every time I read/see/hear the news, so I appreciate being able to keep up-to-date without having to delve into the full story unless I want to.

      I do dislike their branding though (and it doesn’t seem like it’s written for women – millennials, people with a sense of humor, but not specifically women – so I’m not sure why they chose that route).

    • Keeley says...

      Summer – totally agree. It’s nice to read a summary and not feel depressed. It’s a productive way to stay current and not bogged down.

  73. KB says...

    CBS This Morning (no celebrity/cooking/fashion nonsense), NPR in the car and during runs, NYT on weekends when I have more time.

  74. Karyn says...

    I don’t read or watch (especially not watch!) the news at all. It’s a conscious choice — I consider myself a fairly well-informed and concerned citizen and luckily I have a wide circle of friends and colleagues, but I find that letting the news’s daily cycle of bad events and hysterical reporting into my head makes me really depressed and has an overall negative effect on my life. I stopped years ago after 9/11, and it felt weird at first, but I soon noticed how much happier I was, and I haven’t looked back since. (And I wouldn’t say I’ve ever missed a major event, either — thanks to friends and family and coworkers and facebook, etc., you really do hear about everything that happens.)

  75. Alyce says...

    I used to be a news junkie until I realized that the continuous stream of awful events was giving me anxiety. I stepped away because I realized most “news” wasn’t news and it didn’t impact my everyday life. Now, I primarily get caught up on the news by reading the Sunday paper, and I listen to NPR maybe twice a week as I’m getting ready for work in the morning. As for the times in between, it’s a good thing my husband and friends continue to be news junkies – I regularly hear about major breaking news through Instagram.

    • Natalie Brennan says...

      Yes me too!

  76. diane says...

    Al Jazeera closed down months ago….

    • Lexi Mainland says...

      Al Jazeera America, their American broadcast channel, shut down. Al Jazeera, the international news outlet, is very much alive (one of the biggest news orgs in the world). Here’s their U.S. portal: http://www.aljazeera.com/topics/regions/us-canada.html

  77. THANK YOU for saying that about The Skimm! I subscribed and only lasted a few days. I don’t need my news to be cute!

    I also go through my favorite pubs (The Atlantic, Outside, local city mags) and follow all their writers on Twitter. A quick scroll in the morning and I usually have a good idea of what everyone is talking about.

  78. Alexandra says...

    FLIPBOARD!!! (flipboard.com)
    It’s a news aggregation app that allows you to select your sources and topics in which you’re interested. Design is really functional, user-friendly, easy to share stories or save them for future. You can even curate your own magazine for others to see.

  79. As soon as I saw this post, I thought, “oh I just use the Skimm.” You so perfectly verbalized the issue I have with it. I feel like their tone inappropriately makes light of things that are quite serious. The stories they choose are a good overview, and I like the length of it, but I think it’s time to unsubscribe and find something similar without the flippant tone.

    • Barrett says...

      YESSSSSSS I unsubscribed because I find it tone deaf and disrespectful. Glad I’m not alone!

    • Heather says...

      I came to comment something similar! I very much agree. I hope they see these comments somehow….

      Also I still like the watch good ol nightly news, cbs with Scott Pelley. He’s the man.

    • Janine says...

      I still subscribe to the theSkimm, but I agree, their tone is downright weird. Given the subject matter, their lead-ins (“What to say when…) do seem insensitive sometimes.

      I sent a link for theSkimm to a male friend who wanted a good email news source, and he laughed, “This whole email’s schtick is: Finally, news FOR GIRLS!”

    • I’ve had these exact thoughts about The Skimm!

    • Emily C says...

      Agreed! I switched to getting the NYT Daily Briefing. It’s succinct and hits the highlights without the condescending “lady-ness” of The Skimm, which I found saccharine.

    • Been thinking the same. I love the succinctness of it–watching the news just makes me depressed and I don’t have tons of time but want to stay informed–but I don’t love being spoken to like I’m a character in Clueless, and in addition, some of the news has been weirdly biased lately. Glad to know there are other options out there for a daily news email.

      Also I love following Guardian and Le Monde on social in addition to outlets like the NYT. It’s interesting to see how different news outlets from different countries report the same stories in different ways, and of course it’s always good to get some news from outside your own country. (I used to check Fox news as well out of sheer curiosity, but had to stop because of the rage blackouts–at least now I understand why people who use it as their only news source are so misinformed!)

    • Alexia says...

      I agree! I’m their target audience (female, late teens) and I really don’t like the sugary tone. It feels patronizing.
      One thing I will say though is that I recently picked up Foreign Affairs and LOVED it. Sadly I lost my issue halfway through but I’m asking for a subscription for my birthday. If you are interested in news the major outlets aren’t covering that’s ahead of its time I highly recommend. It’s an every other month thing, so unlike with the Economist and New Yorker, I actually have time to read it! ;)

    • Lexi Mainland says...

      Great tip!

    • Jessica says...

      Completely agree with you all! It’s very flippant and it has turned me off so many times. I can’t recommend it.

    • Another news briefing you should check out is The Daily Distiller. Unlike the Skimm, it’s target market is everyone and it provides a witty and concise overview of not only news but also culture, sports, and tech (along with providing a daily cocktail recipe). It’s free as well!

  80. Alice Quin says...

    New York Times forever and always. I read their articles online every day.

  81. Caroline says...

    Really good piece- staying on top of news is a particular challenge of mine! I like BBC for breadth but not depth- their ‘neutrality’ often comes across as simply descriptive and lacking analysis. For really good commentary I go to Al-Jazeera after my sister recommended it and I was kinda blown away! I didn’t know what to expect there but ended up really enjoying the diversity of their stories/storytellers and their analyses.

  82. Tara says...

    You guys, I feel like such an idiot that I’ve never noticed The Skimm’s branding. I read it every morning for a quick overview of major news stories when I don’t have time to read news in more depth. And somehow never noticed their icon!

    • Courtney says...

      You’re not alone. I fancy myself to be quite observant and I never noticed the icon. (how?!?!) However, I still wouldn’t say that the writing style is geared toward women or that women “can’t handle serious news”, but rather towards younger/millennial/internet-people. I find that the wording does help me remember and absorb the news faster. The links and Skimm guides are also really helpful.

      I will give Nextdraft a try though per some other comments.

  83. Nicole says...

    Nextdraft is a MILLION times better than the Skimm.

    • Julie says...

      Completely agree! Next Draft provides both the top stories and off-beat articles in a humerous, gender neutral tone

    • Thanks for the recommendation, Nicole – going to check that out now!

  84. Vicki says...

    Thank you for this post! I needed some new news sources. I 100% agree with you about The Skimm branding. I love the idea and content, but feel like it’s a bit condescending. I have the same feelings about the term girl boss.

  85. lynn says...

    I’m London based and love Quartz Daily Brief, NPR Morning Edition (even if I listen to it in the afternoon), and the New Yorker.

    I subscribed to Skimm early days but then stopped because of the branding as well as the tone/language. Like Omigod, let’s not assume our readers are like idiots and need to be told how to pronounce the current Chinese premier’s name. Let’s presume that’s not the most important part of whatever the headline is.

  86. May says...

    I like Science News for the current science news. BBC yes. NY Times yes. Google News is my go news source. CNN was before page loading issues became a problem. When keeping up with the economy, its nice to read about current market agriculture news reports. I use bookmarks instead of Facebook and Twitter for news.

  87. Christina says...

    What a fantastic list, thank you so much Lexi! I tried the Skimm for about 2 weeks but I agree with you about the branding. I found it really condescending. I subscribe to the Pnut but will have to check out the other round-ups.

  88. Lyndsee says...

    Yes! I love the Skimm, but why is the branding so gendered. Like, don’t both men AND women appreciate a fun, quick overview of the news? Reminds me of those hilarious pink pens made “just for her.”

    • Summer says...

      I agree – I don’t see it speaking to women as much as the younger generation. Regardless, I love the Skimm (and NPR and nightly news)!

  89. Kelcey says...

    I’ve had friends recommend The Skimm, but I just can’t get over the branding. It’s borderline insulting.

    • Emma says...

      To me, it crosses that border.

    • Emily says...

      Yes, that was my reaction too! I subscribed for a while but couldn’t get over it.

    • Nicky says...

      I agree, and i’m probably their target demographic. For those looking for something like it but with a different tone, I much prefer the New York Times free email newsletters. It delivers daily to your inbox just like The Skimm.

    • Claire says...

      yes!! i feel the same way. i’m happy for the skimm that they’ve found an expansive audience (proves there is a need for that style of news report), but i am not in their target audience in terms of their branding and content. feels way too sugary and not substantive. if it wasn’t for their female-geared branding, i wouldnt have such a problem with it existing!

  90. Thank you for the great list, I will definitely sign up for a couple of those newsletters! Also, this may sound crazy when you’re talking about serious news, but I really miss Jon Stewart from “The Daily Show.”

    • Trish O says...

      i miss Jon Stewart, too

    • Me three. John Oliver fills some of that hole in my heart, but not all. And he’s not on often enough!

    • Have you watched it with Trevor Noah? Jon Stewart leaving was the end of an era, but Noah hasn’t missed a beat. It’s 100% still worth the watch.

  91. I also subscribe to the NYT and WSJ, but online–I’m in France. I miss the serendipity of stumbling across something that catches my eye on a page, the way you do when you thumb through a paper paper. But I’m just glad I can get them at all. I also like Quartz and sometimes read the Economist and the New Yorker (I used to subscribe but it was just too expensive overseas, and that thing about magazines piling up happens online, too). NPR is another must while I work out. I’m not one for TV news, but I watch it in French since I live here, and also read la Depeche du Midi and le Figaro.