The right time to pay attention to what’s going on in your neighborhood, city, state, country and world is NOW. No matter who you are, where you are, or how old you are – you need to start paying attention to what’s really happening in the world. But let’s be honest, being up to date on ALL current events is extremely difficult, even when we have constant news updates at the touch of our fingers, 24/7 – so why is it so difficult? Here are a few reasons:
- Not paying attention
- We don’t care enough to read / listen
- There are a million other “messages” flooding our eyes and ears – we’re multitasking and missing the things that can/should be important
- We’re not using the right tools
With tensions as high as they are in the world (ISIS, Brexit, Syrian Civil War, Refugees, Islamaphobia, Starvation/failing economy in Venezuela, Nuclear threats from North Korea, etc.), and in America itself (mysoginist/racist/zenophobic/greedy president, fight for equality in race/gender/sexual orientation/etc., healthcare uncertainty, etc.), it’s pertinent we’re aware of as many facts and opinions (even those opinions from the opposing side from where you stand) as possible.
No longer is it like the 50s, where we all sit around the breakfast table and calmly eat our breakfast, drink our coffee and read the morning news. We’re on the GO and we’re not slowing down for 20 minutes (heck, we’re not even slowing down for 5 minutes) to read the news. Not only do we not have time, it doesn’t sound too exhilarating to read the news.
I know what you’re thinking, “Tracey, reading/listening to the news is boring…blah, blah, blah!”. But it doesn’t have to be boring; with the right attitude (and vehicles), staying current with the news can be fun! Take Leslie Knope as an example:
Trust me on this – once you get in the habit of checking the news, you’ll be telling other’s how great it is (see above). Just get to jammin’ and you’ll see.
Below are the 4 vehicles/methods I use to get my news!
Yes, this is the mother of all news sources. If I were to describe NPR news in 10 adjectives I’d use the following: in-depth, quality, conversational, mutual, open-minded, raw, rational, challenging, empowering, and interesting!
NPR shares interviews from people on both sides of the spectrum on almost every topic. It makes you think deeper into an idea/event/culture than previously. It makes you question what you think you know and what is (or could be) true.
Every morning on my way to work, I listen to NPR Morning Edition, and I listen to it through it’s entirety. It goes from 5am to 9am. No, I don’t wake up at 5am to start listening to NPR, I’m not that dedicated. But I’ll listen from about 7:45-9am. It’s not perfect, but it’s a start!
My favorite thing about NPR is that it’s a radio station, meaning I can listen and receive important, unbiased news while still getting work done – I’m being informed and productive! GO GIRL!
If you haven’t signed up for theSkimm yet, you’re missing out. The name pretty much says it all, theSkimm is an e-newsletter that literally “skims” the news for you and gives you a quick overview of the highpoints. It’s quick, easy, informative and SASSY! I’m being honest when I say this: Reading theSkimm is equal parts fun and informative. If you want to keep heavy news lighthearted, “punny” and a little satirical, this is for you!
Check it out HERE!
This isn’t your average news outlet, in fact, it’s not really a new outlet at all. To get a better idea of what the Medium actually is, check out their description:
“Welcome to Medium, a place where everyone has a story to share and the best ones are delivered right to you. Everyday, thousands of people turn to Medium to publish their ideas and perspectives. Leaders. Artists. Thinkers. And ordinary citizens who have a story to tell. Posts range from scrutinies of world affairs to deeply personal essays. Medium sifts the best of these for you and delivers them directly to your home page. It is your daily news reimagined, straight from the people who are making and living it. Discover and follow your favorite writers and the stories that matter to you, everyday.”
If you are confused about an issue that’s currently going on around the world – legalization of marijuana, Black Lives Matter, robots in the workforce, feminism, etc. this is the place to go. You can read articles in opposition, and in support, from people who truly have experience with the matter. These stories are strong enough to take your current opinion/thoughts on a topic and completely shake them up, or make that feeling even more concrete. Just like theSkimm, this is entertaining and informative…plus, you get to choose what to read. You have the power!
Tip: When you have the power to choose what to read, make sure you’re not ALWAYS choosing articles that align with your opinions. When you choose based on agreeing principles, you’re never challenging yourself and questioning your “reality” and rationale. When you challenge yourself, you learn!
Check it out HERE!
This last one isn’t really a source to get news, but it aligns with the Medium a little bit…
Talk to people
This is extremely important, and probably the hardest thing to accomplish on this list. Let’s be honest, who wants to talk to someone (in person) that doesn’t agree with you or believes in something that angers you?! I know I don’t particularly want to hear from people that have negative opinions regarding the women’s march, BLM, and Muslims, etc., but when we create an atmosphere where people feel safe to share their opinions, you can learn about one another and an opposing side. You’re feelings/opinions will also become stronger because you’re having to defend and explain them. It’s a revelation for yourself as much as it is for the person you’re communicating with.
Tip: If the conversation and mutual respect starts to go south, be cognisant enough to know when the conversation should end or if you can still continue. The goal of talking to people is to come together on common ground; To create a stronger respect for the opposite party. Make sure this is intact by the end of the convo!
Moral of the story: Information is everywhere, so find it, read it, use it. That corny saying that every teacher has in her/his classroom, “Knowledge (information) is power”, is true, YO! Listen to your teachers!
****I’m totally interested in hearing what you guys use to get your news. If you have something great that I haven’t mentioned above, please share in the comments!!****
Peace. Love. Informed Citizen.