Earlier this week, we asked our readers to give us a peek into their daily media consumption habits. Here are some of the standout replies we received so far:
Longtime Atlantic Wire reader and commenter Süper Chuñdy:
First thing I do is scan my RSS feeds from The Atlantic Wire, memeorandum, the Slatest, and NPR. This gives me a good sense of what the talking-heads think is important. To find out what I really should be concerned about, I'll read The Independent, ProPublica, Reason, and Al-Jazeera English.
Then for some lighter reading, I check out Gawker, the Awl, McSweeney's, the Slog at The Stranger, and Wonkette. For cogent analysis, I head for Democracy in America at The Economist, The New York Review of Books blog, The Volokh Conspiracy, and the Planet Money blog on NPR.
Finally, I'll head to Slate, Salon, Foreign Affairs, National Affairs, the Wilson Quarterly, and longform.org (which is a great site that collects the best long form articles from across the web) to pick out some articles to read throughout the day and over the weekend.
One last thing, if you use Firefox as your browser, I recommend getting the Read It Later add-on, which allows you to save articles onto a convenient queue.
Sophie Nunberg, third-year undergraduate at The University of Chicago, originally from Northern California:
In the face of an interminably long summer internship with restricted Internet access, I took it upon myself to read more about current affairs. If bored, I obediently opened up the NYTimes or The Washington Post. I was two weeks into the job when I began wondering how could people read these papers day after day? My throat felt parched by the dry material.
Cautiously, I began to explore the Internet media, first checking with my employer that Google Reader was kosher. Prevented from going on YouTube or Tumblr or Facebook or Twitter during work hours, I began with The Huffington Post, which I justified as serious journalism (Snooki is totally of national importance.) Then I moved onto Give Me Something to Read.
I was a month in when I crossed the line with Slate, which balanced articles on Iraq with play-by-plays of last week's Mad Men episode and articles on people's sex lives. Soon I grew more lenient with my RSS feeds; Gawker, The Daily Beast, Hark! A Vagrant. I aimlessly scrolled across hundreds of article - looking for catchy headlines or intriguing images. Still, I interspersed my indulgences with more intellectual varieties: Vanity Fair and CNN.
By the last two weeks of my internship, which were only speckled with work, I was frequently visiting blogs which would have shocked my June-2010 self. The Daily What, Alexi Eileen's personal blog, Neatorama, Broken Secrets and, of course, McSweeney's, which were delightful and intelligent, but definitely not worldly or hard-hitting.
Will Anderson, Legislative Aide, Washington, DC:
I'm a Legislative Aide for a House member. I'm in my mid-late twenties, biracial, straight, West Coast born, Southern raised, New England educated. I specialize in foreign affairs and defense issues but dabble in all things relevant to America.
If I don't bike into work, I start my day wired to my Google Reader via my Android phone (with the free paper provided by the Post as my signal-drop backup for my Metro ride, and an audiocopy of "My Life" for some post-recession malaise/pre-midterm election, Clinton-era education/nostalgia). Throughout my rounds on Capitol Hill, I scroll, skim and scour over feeds from the political papers, Roll Call, The Hill, Politico as well as The Grey Lady and WaPo to see how the view from the fence is from David Brooks, and the prognosticating number crunching of Nate Silver when I'm in the mood to get the best stats for the horse-race. There's the New(s) besides NYT/WaPo: New Republic, New Yorker, New York Review of Books, Newsweek. The Wall Street Journal, NPR, BBC, Economist, Time, Rolling Stone round up the old journalistic guard. Social news aggregation sites like Reddit and Digg help with the miscellaneous.
Marc Lynch and Stephen Walt at Foreign Policy always provide sobering insight. Andrew Sullivan lost his luster but is still around. Nukes and Spooks inject some daily intelligence.
Local bloggers like DCist, We Love DC, New Columbia Heights, the 42 and Prince of Petworth to get a yupster account of my adopted community. For life back home (outside the beltway), I browse the Atlantia Journal Constitution and Atlanta Business Chronicle.
The Onion and Stewart/Colbert help me regain context at night. Rinse and repeat.
Steve Marzolf, Online Editor for HBO.com, New York, NY:
I worked as a freelance writer from about 2003 to 2007 (age 22 -26), and I cast a huge RSS net pulling in everything from PR Newswire releases, science journals and local papers around the country, looking for any fragment that could lead to a good story. I also nursed a serious Gizmodo addiction and read a lot in print, subscribing to GQ, Esquire, FHM, Maxim, Stuff, Wired, Details, and a few others (I guess you can tell where my pitches went, too.)
After I took a full-time job, the lead-hunt calmed down, and I started to read primarily for my own pleasure again. I tried to apply the RSS model to "fun" reading, but it was way too much to sift through. Now, I think I finally have a comfortable mix:
1. Every day I read the print NYT. I love that it has a last page. I let most of the mags go, and now just read GQ.
2. I get a lot of "meme" type stuff and other web-tritus through Tumblr, and I'm also hoping this whole Coatney-induced pile-on of magazines amounts to something (Go Atlantic!) I get a little news from Facebook, too, but mostly I've disowned that platform.
3. Twitter feeds in breaking stuff (like Michael Jackson's death), and I also follow NY Mag on there (because I just can't do that in print plus a full week of the Times). Twitter's also good for following media-industry folks and "tool" stuff like Groupon.
4. I don't watch TV news unless a bomb has gone off somewhere.
Keep those submissions coming! Send your responses to firstname.lastname@example.org with "What I Read" in the subject line. Please include your name, location, and occupation. We want to know: 1) A bit about yourself 2) your favorite sources online, in print, on TV/radio, and 3) how you sort through the media landscape. Please limit submissions to 250 words.
Keep your eyes peeled for another edition of "What You Read" this week. Until then, happy reading.
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