How do people deal with the torrent of information pouring 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. This is drawn from a conversation with Ed Schultz, host of The Ed Show on MSNBC and The Ed Schultz Show on radio.
Like most people, I sleep with my BlackBerry on my chest. I hit it in the morning, get a cup of coffee, go online and start looking at a few things: The Huffington Post, The New York Times and The Washington Post.
I do a national radio talk show so I have the benefit of listeners cluing me into different stories. I'll ask them what their hot-button is and they'll say "Ed, you gotta check this out" or "Ed, you've gotta listen to this." It's like I get to have a town hall meeting every day.
I also work the phones and follow-up with people I've interviewed. That's how I got a story out of Iowa about the outsourcing of Whirlpool and what had happened previously with Maytag. I think in this business you can't be an expert on every story. There's only so much you can do in 24 hours. You have to rely heavily on your instincts for what the audience will be interested in. There may be 30 or 40 stories each day and I'll focus on three or four of them that meet the criteria of being informative and grabbing the interest of the viewer. You can't own every story but you also can't just be in a state of reciprocal pickup. I want my own stuff. I wanna do Wisconsin. I wanna do Ohio. I wanna do workers' stories.