How do other people deal with the torrent of information that pours down on us all? What sources can't they live without? We regularly reach out to prominent figures in media, entertainment, politics, the arts and the literary world, to hear their answers to these questions. This is drawn from a conversation with Nick Confessore, the New York Times reporter who until recently covered state politics and is moving to national politics beat.
I wake up at about 6:30 a.m. or so, turn over, get my BlackBerry, I drop it, I pick it up again and then I check for early announcements from the campaigns, and scan some of the morning digests over email or online: Mike Allen’s Playbook, The Fix, Morning Score, and NBC's First Read. I’m still trying to figure out which ones I like best. The campaigns will sometimes put out early press releases, campaign finance filings, schedules, and I’ll make sure that I haven’t missed anything overnight. After that I go for a run or hit the gym, and then I start the real reading, at about 8 or 8:30 a.m.
I’m transitioning between beats right now, so I’m blending two media diets. I’ve been working on the Metro desk covering Albany, but I’m moving to cover national politics. Until recently, I read everything the correspondents in Albany filed for the daily papers. That meant the New York Daily News, the New York Post, the Albany Times Union, the Buffalo News, as well as the AP and Gannett. Most of those clips I get through State of Politics, which is a blog written by Liz Benjamin and some of her colleagues at Capital Tonight. She is a longtime New York reporter who anchors an evening political show. I skim most of the straight news coverage, which is mostly a replay of what I lived the previous day, and keep an eye out for smart enterprise and scoops. Albany has a secretive and tight political culture. You’ve got to really pay attention to the tea leaves that are being set, especially in the tabloids. That’ll tell you a lot about what happens behind closed doors. And most of what happens in Albany happens behind closed doors.