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 Shani O. Hilton, BuzzFeed's deputy editor-in-chief.
The first thing I do in the morning is look at my phone, which is usually somewhere under my pillow. Which is kind of depressing to think about. Then I just immediately look to see if there are emails that I need to worry about, because a big part of my job is answering questions from my editors and my reporters, like stuff on standards and corrections. And [because] we have people in different time zones, all of a sudden there's something that I need to respond to the first thing when I get up. In the process of doing that, I scan other subject lines in my inbox, which gives me a sense of what various teams are working on.
Once I get out of bed, I have this ritual where I put on a kettle for tea, play music, open my laptop, and turn on my television to local news. Usually I'll look at what Fox5 has with the weather and commute, and then also turn over to the Today show and just put that on mute with closed captioning.
I think people kind of underestimate the value of network morning talk shows.
I used to work the really early morning shift at the locally owned and operated NBC station in D.C., and so we all had televisions on our desks, and having Today on is kind of a habit for me. I think people kind of underestimate the value of network morning talk shows in their ability to convey news and what's trending, what's happening. Half the time I get into the office and I'm like, "Yeah, I saw that on the Today Show." I think a lot of people my age or younger don't see the value in local news. It's kind of kitschy and kind of silly sometimes, but I find it a really nice break from the Internet version of news.