How do other people deal with the torrent of information that pours down on us all? Do they have some secret? Perhaps. We are asking various friends and colleagues who seem well-informed to describe their media diets. This is from a conversation with James Gibney, a deputy managing editor at The Atlantic.
Shortly after I get up, I check my e-mail to make sure there are no surprises. On the train to work, I generally read a magazine like Harper’s, The Week, Foreign Policy--basically whatever’s in my reading sack--or one of the free newspapers like The Express. But I don’t think of any of that as serious newsgathering.
When I get into work, around 8:30 a.m., I’ll check my e-mail newsletters and look at a bunch of aggregator feeds like The Slatest, The Atlantic Wire and, if I have time, Google News to see what the big stories are.
I subscribe to a lot of weird things like The University of Wisconsin’s weekly Scout Report--which links to general interest reports and research--or the latest GAO reports. It’s usually stuff that is kind of pre-news, but important information sources. I subscribe to e-mail newsletters like The Lancet or NBER Digest and The Wall Street Journal’s Best of the Web, which is kind of their right-wing opinion compendium. I also get a weekly e-mail called CSSRR--Current Social Science Research Reports--a compendium of the latest social science research from various state and national agencies and research groups.
It’s pretty catch as catch can after I check my newsletters and sites during that morning systematic grazing. My homepage is The Atlantic at work and I get a lot of my news from links our bloggers provide. I rarely read The New York Times online, but I do try to read it cover-to-cover in print every day. Realistically, that happens maybe one out of every five days. If I have time, I’ll sneak down to the gym and read it while I’m on the treadmill.
On the train home, I’ll read another magazine. While we don’t get any print newspapers at home, we do get a bunch of magazines – The Week, Smithsonian, The New Yorker and Washingtonian – and the rest I pick up at work. At home I check my e-mail and spend a little time on The New York Times site, and kind of lazily wander through the wonderful world of the Web wherever it takes me, but with no real systematic intent. Before I go to bed, I will usually read a book.