My father reads the San Antonio Express-News every day. He reads it thoroughly and, because he knows a lot of history, also reads several magazines, and has been reading the news daily for more than 70 years, he not only gets the facts, but can put them in context.
He reads the print edition. The other day he said to me, “Since you don’t read newspapers,” and I interrupted.
“I read newspapers,” I said — indignantly — “I just read them online.”
And I do. Every day I read The New York Times, The Washington Post, Salon, and Slate. I get daily email updates from Pro Publica, a nonprofit investigative reporting website, and OurFuture.org, which provides a lot of liberal commentary.
For my day job, I use an RSS feed that gives me headlines from most of the newspapers in Texas and Oklahoma. That lets me keep up with Texas and Austin affairs for my own personal interest as well as for work. I also check out a lot of blogs for both information and pleasure; I’ll write about those another time.
I don’t read every word on any of those sites, of course — I scan their pages and look for the stuff that interests me. (On Slate, which I usually find annoying, I mostly just read Doonesbury.) But I certainly read enough to be well-informed.
My father’s a retired journalist from the days when print reigned. While he’s not a Luddite — he blogs at I Heard it at the Icehouse — he still doesn’t quite trust the Internet as a source of news.
Me, I don’t trust one publication of any kind as a source of news, which is why I read so many different ones. And you can only do that online. If I got the print version of every publication I check each week, I’d be buried under a ton of paper every day.
But I’ve only been reading my news online for a few years now. There was a time when I got most of my information from the print version of The Washington Post, supplemented by The Times and a few other publications that my office provided for free.
I still like the layout of a print newspaper, and I miss reading the comics that way (it’s way more trouble to read the funnies online). And there are things you pick up scanning a page of print that you miss online.
But I wouldn’t go back to print as my main source of news. One newspaper — one point of view — just isn’t enough for me anymore.
So how do you get your news?
Nancy Jane’s flash fiction for this week is “Thirty-One Rules for Fulfilling Your Destiny.” Her collection Conscientious Inconsistencies is available from PS Publishing and her novella Changeling can be ordered from Aqueduct Press.