There once was a time when your chose your sole news outlet. You’d be on one paper route, you’d have your favorite radio station, and you would watch your favorite news broadcast (mainly because you liked the weatherman on that channel).
An interesting thing happened when the news became democratized, people quit believing the news. Nowadays, people don’t see it to believe it – they need to see it multiple times from multiple sources to think it is real.
So that begs the question, how do YOU consume the news?
Now I will be the first to admit, that is an overwhelming question. Odds are you consume news in more than one way (and in ways you probably don’t even realize). Yes, you still see things happen on CNN or your choice of cable news. Yes, you still may read NYT (albeit online now). Yes, you increasingly see news break on your Facebook feed (then turn on the TV to see what happened). It’s true what some say, the news is now finding you.
So now I have another question, what control do you have over the news you consume?
You might feel a little helpless with this one. When news is breaking on your Facebook feed, you don’t get to choose the source your classmate from 2003 linked to. You don’t get to pick which pundits Fox News decides to have on one of their broadcasts. So what do you control?
It Is Time To Take Back Control.
Here are a couple of ways you can take back control of your news consuming habits. Depending on how much time you devote to it, you can start becoming the news breaker to your social network instead of the one left asking “what did I miss?”
One of the easiest ways to get started on your journey of taking back control of the news is taking advantage of Twitter lists.
There are subject matter experts and key opinion leaders out there of all shapes and sizes.
And usually if someone is an expert on something, they want to talk about that subject… a lot. So get them the hell out of your main feed and put them in their own feed, and put them together with a bunch of other opinionators on the same topic. They’ll do the curation for you on any topic, and do it with a pretty high degree of quality.
Oh, and what if the topic is “the news,” well, it works for that too – I list major media outlets and new media outlets in Twitter lists to see what news is really breaking at any given moment (and mind you I don’t follow these folks, so I don’t have to worry about them clogging up my main Twitter feed).
Yes, I was one of those that cried a little when Google Reader went bye bye. But blogs are still extremely powerful sources of content, and mostly original content at that. Feedly allows you to group RSS feeds together in collections – this is such an extremely versatile way to organize how you consume the internet, not just the news.
And yes, you still can RSS Google alerts and group them together so they don’t get tangled up with other stuff. This is still a great way to monitor specific topics or companies (or clients for your media monitors at agencies all over the country).
Now, this one varies slightly from the traditional news consumption construct; sites that curate usually do so for specific topics of interest. While you can get the new-ness in this fashion from trusty sites like Reddit, being the digital marketing nerd that I am, I use it to get my fill of my industry.
Sites like Growthhackers.com and Inbound.com are excellent for surfacing great pieces on marketing, social media, and everything in between. I personally have become addicted to these sites as they allow the best content to rise to the top for anyone to see.
These sites are great to include in either your Twitter list or to add to your feeds you set up on Feedly.
Trustworthy news is out there, but it is time you go seek it out. Just a little up front effort can yield you an efficient news and media consumption engine that keeps you up to date and hopefully makes you smarter – if your news is organized, you should be able to consume more of it – and more news = more knowledge = more power for you.