I still read the news. I currently get most of my news via the news aggregator, Feedly. The app collects news stories from a variety of sources and puts them all in one place. On a daily basis, I get stories from The Atlantic, The New York Times, NPR, Jezebel, and The Commercial Appeal. I used to get updates from Gawker, but it was sued out of existence.
Now, do I read every story posted in Feedly? Heck no. I have a life. However, I love that I quickly scan the headlines, save things to read for later, email, and share stories. The app keeps me informed (and entertained). Notice this screen shot my news feed juxtaposes a story about Justin Bieber and the Zika virus. This is the news.
In a lot of ways, I think this is the future of journalism. My feed is blissfully low on advertisements. If I want to read a full story from the New York Times, I have to click through and see their ads. However, most of the time, I can scan and flip through the stories. I read the stories I want without paying a cent.
So, when I saw this report on John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight, I felt a little guilty. As he talked about the fall in ad revenue and the downsizing of mid-market newspapers, I realized that I am part of problem. I don’t want to pay for my news, but I still want high quality, expert reporting. I want to learn about Netflix’s plans to revitalize Anne of Green Gables (I know! I know! I can’t wait!) and the restoration of felon voting rights. I want news and entertainment, but not always infotainment.
That being said, the other reason this report really struck me was his examples of TV news outlets relying on the hard work of small-town, local journalists. Digital media have had a radical affect on how we source, report, and distribute the news.