These days “news” only seems to equate with “chaos” or “anxiety”, but there is no getting around the fact that I like being updated about what’s going on around the world, even the obscure sounding bits. Especially the obscure sounding bits.
Part of my need-to-know tendencies stems from my work. A couple of years ago, when I was taking on a more expanded role at work, my mentor advised me to “have an opinion about everything”. And really, there is no way of having an opinion unless you’re well-informed about things.
I’ve progressed much from the days when I used Facebook and Twitter as my go-tos for curating news. From the way I look at it today, Facebook seems to be an anxiety/angst trigger for me, and Twitter, well, Twitter, just comes across as the rant machine.
So clearly, I’ve had to move on.
Anyway, now I have a news reading flow that serves the purpose of keeping me informed and ever so often, delighting me with some human connection articles (read: Modern Love on NYT). And today, I’m sharing with you some of my very favourite news apps / websites.
1 // Mint (business/India): My favourite Indian newspaper at the moment. The quality is quite top-notch and I love the clean layout of both the newspaper and the website. It’s more business centric (I think their Opinion pieces are the best!), but even the lifestyle pieces are very well-written. What I enjoy the most is their Saturday edition – Lounge. It carries thoughtful analysis of current trends, long-style profiles of prominent news makers, and also articles from some regular columnists (Natasha Badhwar’s My Daughter’s Mum is my absolute favourite column!). If I find the time on Saturday, I prefer to read the paper in bed; for most other times, I use the web/mobile app.
2 // Economic Times (business/India): A bit of a work necessity. As compared to the Mint, I find it very tabloid-y, but it gets the job done. Mostly. It’s comprehensive, and while its editorial is not really my favourite, I do make sure to browse through the newspaper almost every day (just like almost every finance professional in India!!!).
3 // The New York Times (daily/US-centric): Probably my most favourite newspaper in the world! I’ll admit – I usually tend to skim over the US-centric current affairs news articles, but where I spend the most time is the lifestyle sections (Smarter Living, Fashion & Style, Magazine, etc.) – notice a trend here?. I absolutely love the content that the newspaper produces and I am seriously so much more informed because of it.
4 // WSJ (business/International): This one keeps me up-to-date about most of the major international business related news. Again, I chalk this up to a bit of a work necessity, but the writing is crisp and incisive and it’s like the global benchmark, so I’m really not complaining. And for a business paper, it’s lifestyle sections are incredibly well-written and on point!
1 // Hash (current affairs/US-centric): I think of this as an improved version of Twitter from a news point of view. Like I mentioned earlier, I’ve tried to use Twitter as a proxy news aggregator, but as any one who uses Twitter knows, it’s so very easy to get lost in the Twitter maze (and also get consumed by the outrage!). Hash cuts through the Twitter clutter and aggregates the most trending topics from around the world, but it does tend to have a more US focused coverage. I usually go through the app during my evening commute to catch up on (almost) all that’s happening around the world.
2 // The Economist Espresso (current affairs/International): Eight news items. That’s it. Brief though it might seem, the coverage is fantastic and fairly broad-based (though these days it seems to be somewhat US news heavy). Also, the writing is trademark Economist – informative without being verbose or pedantic.
3 // Al Jazeera (current affairs/International): I don’t browse through this every day, but check in a couple of times a week to get a more holistic international news coverage.
4 // InShorts (current affairs/India-centric): Summary of key news items in 60 words or less? I’m sold! I was looking for an India-centric news aggregator with clean aesthetic and comprehensive overview for a while when I came upon InShorts. It fits the bill perfectly, and while it does occasionally thrown in some international news pieces, it’s coverage continues to be majorly focused on India. Also, if you come across a piece of interest, there is also a seamless in-app link to the original article.
1 // theSkimm (current affairs/US-centric): Love, love, love the witty coverage! The tone is light and conversational, and makes for perfect commute reading.
2 // FT (business/International): I know, I know. It’s a newspaper / news website. But I don’t really use the website or the app much. Instead, I rely on the FirstFT newsletter because their summaries are the best and incredibly well-curated – I also love that they link to interesting articles from other networks in their daily round-ups too.
It might seem excessive, the number of news apps / websites I go through, but most of it is a quick read. On an average, I think I spend between 40-50 minutes every day going through the news. And I tend to switch off almost completely from the news on the weekends, unless there is something rather important happening in India or around the world. I mean, I gotta keep my sanity, right!!!???!!!
How do you read your news? What are your favourite apps / newspapers / news websites? Let me know in the comments – I’d love to know any cool recommendations as well!
IMAGE VIA T MAGAZINE