By Ellen Garnett
As we navigate this process called “adulting,” we must do our best to be informed citizens and to make educated decisions. The Voice generated this list of the top 10 ways to keep yourself informed on current events based on the team’s preferences and with the help of the WikiHow article “How to Stay Informed About Current Events.”
1) News mobile applications
Name any popular news outlet. Most, if not all news, outlets, have their own apps for Android and Apple phones to better reach readers. CNN, BBC News, Al Jazeera, AP News, New York Times, and Google News are just a few examples of national and international news sources with apps available. It is helpful to download multiple news apps so that you receive more of a range of content. You can sign up for push notifications from the apps when breaking news happens to keep you in the loop when you are on the go.
News reader apps or an RSS reader can organize articles that cater to your interests. These include NPR One, Flipboard, News360, Best News Reader, and Pulse, which make it easier to comb through content.
2) Daily briefings
When you subscribe to online newspapers or news outlets, some offer daily briefings to “get you up to speed and out the door” as CNN’s does in its “Five Things for Your New Day” email. It is especially helpful for college students who are on their phones all of the time. The New York Times also has its own briefing at the end of the day.
Radio shows and podcasts on current events can relieve us of heavy reading. NPR has an hourly news summary that is five minutes long to touch base with its listeners as they go about their daily grind. Each news summary is on the hour.
A more in depth podcast on analyzing the news is “On Point with Tom Ashbrook.” His two-hour morning show typically features interviews with scholars on their perspectives on current events.
4) TV news stations
If watching the news is your jam, you should watch multiple news stations to get a more well-rounded understanding of what is going on in the world. Local TV news stations are helpful to get snapshots of what is going on in the smaller communities to which you belong. For Boston, WBZ-TV CBS Boston, WCVB Boston, and WHDH TV (Channel 7 News) all cover our city.
5) Satirical news
Satirical news shows, such as “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” “Late Week Tonight with John Oliver,” and “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” all provide engaging yet critical analyses of news coverage.
Oftentimes, we forget to stop and take time to think about how news outlets cover events. Viewers find satirical news shows to be more straightforward because hosts point out the flaws of news coverage and offer various perspectives on how to think about it.
6) Social media
We make time for social media even though we do not seem to have time for anything besides schoolwork. Instead of spending that ten minutes on Instagram, spend half of that time brushing up on what is going on in the world outside of your social network.
Even better, follow those news sources on your favorite social media channels. The best part about social media is that it allows news sources to send out multiple updates throughout the day instead of a print newspaper, which only has one set of articles for the day. However, be wary of breaking news on social media, as news outlets want to be the first to get you that information and sometimes do not get all of the right facts in reporting unfolding events.
7) Newspaper subscriptions
Yes, they still exist. You can still subscribe to old-fashion print newspapers. While having to pay for your news may seem like a burden, you may feel more inclined to read the news because you are spending money to get it.
Also, it can be overwhelming at times to scroll through online newspapers, as it feels like the scrolling never ends. At least with newspapers there is a definite end. It would be in your best interest to subscribe to your local newspaper as well as at least one national newspaper, such as The New York Times.
8) News magazine subscriptions
News magazines like Time, The Nation, or Newsweek all offer more in depth news and feature articles. Magazines tend to have more creative license as well, which is more entertaining to read than a bone-dry news article on the same topic.
9.) Local library
If price is an issue for staying informed, your local library has subscriptions to local and national newspapers and magazines. Take advantage of these subscriptions.
The Simmons College Library also offers free subscriptions to the New York Times and the Boston Globe. More information and other sources can be found on their website. The first floor of Beatley Library has current, popular magazines as well.
10) Read books
While you are at the library, check out some books on some of the most pressing issues in the U.S. books on politics by public officials can give you an inside look at the issue by using the perspective of an educated, credible author.
The first step to be informed is doing our homework, meaning that we need to do research current events and important issues.
The second step, which is fundamental, is exercising critical thinking to take the information we have learned and do something with it.