You know that guy in your lecture who rattles off everything he knows about current events when nobody asked? The one who tells you all about his thoughts on the Middle East when you just asked to borrow a pen? Yeah, the one everyone wants to punch in the face for being so pretentious? Good news — the Clog is here to help you be just like him! If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed trying to keep up with the whirlwind of news and current events, here are some steps to become the most informed news consumer out there, so that one day you can outsmart that guy in lecture.
1. Wake up with a daily newsletter
Most major news outlets send daily newsletters, compiling the biggest stories of the day that you can have delivered right to your email. You can subscribe to as many as you want, as different newsletters vary in the scope of issues they cover, from local to international.
Our recommendation: The Daily Skimm
Although there are many excellent newsletters out there, The Daily Skimm is written to be accessible to wide audiences, with big news stories broken down into simple, easy-to-understand components.
2. Listen to a podcast on your way to class
Podcasts are an excellent way to consume news while doing other things, making them particularly suitable for busy college students.
Our recommendation: “Up First”
This daily program from NPR usually runs between 10 and 15 minutes, with co-hosts highlighting the most important stories of the day. For each story, other reporters and correspondents are brought in to elaborate the story’s context and implications, allowing listeners to gain a thorough understanding of relevant events and issues.
3. While you’re procrastinating in the library, scroll through the Wall Street Journal’s “Blue Feed, Red Feed“
This project by the Wall Street Journal aims to highlight the echo chambers created within the Facebook community. The tool allows users to pick issues such as health care and abortion, and view a side-by-side comparison of related headlines from liberal and conservative Facebook pages. “Blue Feed, Red Feed” is an excellent way to develop a nuanced understanding of current events, rather than espousing the same buzzwords and catchphrases that circulate the social media sphere.
4. Download an app to get breaking news alerts
Just like newsletters, there are tons of news-related apps that can help you stay in-the-know, with instantaneous notifications on breaking news events that link to stories with more information.
Our recommendation: Flipboard
Available for both iPhone and Android, Flipboard creates curated packages of content, depending on topics you’re particularly interested in, and sends you notifications when new stories are added. The user interface allows you to literally flip through news stories from different outlets, making it a fun and fast way to catch up on the biggest headlines.
5. Watch a newsreel before bed
If the abundance of words starts to feel like too much, videos are a great way to have the news explained to you, with visuals to help out.
Our recommendation: YouTube news
YouTube collects news clips from a broad range of sources and compiles them into a single “Top Stories” playlist, perfect for binge-watching the most significant stories of the day.
6. Like the Daily Cal on Facebook
Because no one has coverage of the city and campus better than ours.
If you follow all of these steps, you’ll be sure to outwit that guy the next time he starts going off on an irrelevant topic.
Contact Hannah Nguyen at [email protected].