Growing up, my family always had a newspaper subscription, so reading the news always felt like a grown-up thing to do. But my entrance into adulthood coincided with the proliferation of internet news outlets, followed by social networks which quickly became useful for disseminating headlines and editorials. And, because this is what humans do, all I ever did was add to my reading list. I never subtracted. Finally, a breaking point came, and I realized I could never keep up.
My current flow on how I read the news is pretty simple. I find one weekly news magazine I like, subscribe to and read it each week.
I supplement that reading with an occasional look at the headlines of today and then finish up by checking my local news headlines, reading any articles that pique my interest.
Here are some reasons I approach my news reading this way:
1 I have a conviction that advertiser-funded news will inevitably lead to a competition for clicks.
If a news agency is motivated by clicks, it is more difficult for me to trust their work to be essential or measured. By paying for a subscription to a weekly, I feel I have decreased that conflict of interest a little and, as a result, become able to read more thoughtful and less reactive articles and editorials.
2 I like the pace of a weekly news magazine because they can be more measured and less “hot-takey”.
Instead of needing to repopulate their major headlines every hour, they can think about what the important headlines of the last week were in the first place, and then write about those.
3 I do not handle many news sources well.
It’s part of the way my brain is wired. I can easily become addicted to checking and rechecking the news, so committing to one weekly news mag helps provide a boundary for my mind. I will still check in on major news outlets and Twitter from time to time, but it is not part of my main rhythm.
4 I like the perspective a weekly provides.
Because they publish weekly, they cannot cover everything there is to cover. I appreciate this because I’m not God and cannot know everything as He can. But getting the big picture items helps me stay informed, but not overwhelmed with detail.
I still have my muses, of course, side-interest blogs and publications I like to keep up with, but I don’t think of these as news. Blog authors I like, tech publications I follow, or sports teams I keep up with aren’t “news” to me, but are restorative and enjoyable outlets to follow.
Whatever the Lord leads you to do, I pray you would give it some intentional thought. I’ve only described what I think He’s asked of me for this season. I am confident it will shift and morph over the years. But do make sure you are reading solid journalism. Even if you find yourself in disagreement with the editorials or leanings of the publications you choose to follow, it is better to read something intelligent than something untrue or sensationalized. God gave Israel the Sabbath system (weekly, yearly, etc.) because humans need rest and rhythms. May you find a rhythm that is restful and restorative, helping you become the best version of you God intends.