Being informed doesn’t have to be boring anymore!
Back in college I used to work for the school newspaper. I worked my way up from plebeian writer to assistant news editor to news editor and eventually managing editor. This is more to do with my sense of work ethic and the vibe of Super Responsible Person than anything else. Because the truth is that I found (and still find) news articles suuuuuper boring. So it was super fun to have to methodically read every article in the paper, checking for grammar mistakes, possible libel or other nefarious situations that might result in us getting the stink eye from administration.
Once I graduated, I pretty much never read a newspaper again – and not because newspapers are a dying art form (true). I go through trends of subscribing to local newspapers online or liking them on Facebook or saying “Today I will start reading The New York Times or listentin to NPR like grownups do!” and then one of two things happen:
- I am bored to tears because news articles are written so blandly in an effort to maintain that objective tone or to sound like grown ups or something.
- The stories are all scary and shock and awe and I have to hide under my covers because of all the murder, corruption and 10,000 ways your children might die today.
But then I feel really left in the dark because the only way I am hearing about a news story is if all 50 of my Facebook friends start talking about it or if a friend says something in passing, like, “So I was listenting to NPR today and….” And I try to pretend that NPR doesn’t put me to sleep (the voices! I swear you could prescribe listening to NPR to people who suffer from insomnia).
All of this is really helpful when Election time rolls around and I pretty much only know Donald Trump (scary) and Hillz (I’ve been alive for enough years that it’d be weird if I didn’t know her). I’m a college grad and friends with smart people so I also know who Bernie Sanders is and Jeb Bush, too. Yay me! So who am I voting for? Ummmm….. shut up.
So six weeks ago I started reading The Skimm which is basically the news source of my dreams. It’s delivered via email every weekday (unless it’s like a major holiday or something) and it’s written in a conversational kind of way that doesn’t make me want to gouge my eyeballs out but I also don’t feel like I’m being spoken down to. I am honestly really impressed with the writing which feels smart but witty at the same time.
I’ve found myself reading about all sorts of news stories that I would have ignored otherwise and suddenly I feel like I know all the things. I can talk politics or world headlines or funny sports news or whatever – at the very least, I have heard about all the stuff that my NPR friends are talking to me about and can nod along knowingly without feeling like I have narcolepsy. Win!
If you are wishing you were more informed but find news articles boring or depressing or just don’t have the TIME – I really recommend checking out The Skimm. For the first time in ten years I can tell you I have read the news almost every day for six weeks now and I’m enjoying it!