A few weeks back, I was conversing with a friend, and she was appalled at how conversant I was on a wide-array of issues: sports, culture, and politics. In her mind, and I do not begrudge her this, my main source of information came from Ancient or more recently Medieval epic poems. Naturally, she was correct that I spend most of my time either in a gym or reading old books, but what I was surprised at is that she had no idea just how easy it is to be informed in this digital age. With major news, sports, culture, and political sources now largely being consumed online, it is easier than ever to know what the social, cultural, political, and generally news-worthy events of the day are without ever seeking to find them. So long as one uses some social media service, Twitter and Facebook being the best I have found, one can quickly change one’s Newsfeed from a desolate stream of cat videos and baby pictures into a steady torrent of rich content, or a true RSS feed (Really Simple Syndication/Rich Site Summary). All one needs to do is to “like” the following sites–ones which now auto-populate my Facebook feed–and one will receive a steady stream of relevant content on a variety of topics daily.
News Sites: Now, instead of weighing-in on just how liberal or conservative these sources are, I will simply leave this link here which does it better, and I will encourage anyone to “like” a healthy balance of each source–the point of the news, of course, is to inform one’s view of the world, not to bias it.
- The New York Times: Generally considered a liberal news outlet, it offers a wide range of articles on issues domestic and international while also offering a balance view of economic and political issues through its famous liberal commentator, Paul Krugman, and its famous conservative one, David Brooks–neither are Trump fans, however.
- The Washington Post
- The Los Angeles Times
- USA Today
All you have to do is click “like”on these sources on Facebook, and their articles, free of charge, will appear on yours Newsfeed 24/7. Like the sources above, and you will be off to a good start.
Conservative Political/News sources: Admittedly, a few of the following three sources can be incendiary at times (number four, in particular), but in the interests of balanced coverage, the following three sources are useful for understanding a strong conservative perspective.
- The Wall Street Journal (owned by News Corp–who also owns Fox News)
- The Chicago Tribune
- Fox News Network
- The Blaze
For fairly balanced international coverage of US and international matters, the following International News Sources are excellent:
- Financial Times
- The Guardian/The Guardian US
- Der Spiegel
- The London Times
Now, onto political resources:
- The New Republic
- The National Review
- The National Journal
- The Nation Magazine
- The Atlantic (also a cultural resource)
- The Jacobin
- Harper’s Magazine
Like the sources above, and you will have the beginnings of strong and balanced coverage of major and minor political happenings in real-time. Again, these will simply show up in your Newsfeed ready to inform you.
Next, in order to take a break from the heavy hitters above, cultural literacy is equally important to knowledge of domestic and political happenings. The following few sites will do a fine job of “hipping you” to current trends in fashion, art, music, and style.
- Rolling Stone
- The New Yorker
- GQ (Gentleman’s Quarterly)
- Esquire (can be sultry)
- The Atlantic
- Vice (sometimes NSFW)
- Cracked (a slightly more intelligent take on Buzzfeed)
Getting even more specific, here are a few sites which will keep one updated on matters of
Science and Technology:
- Scientific American
- Scientific American Mind
- Tech Crunch
- Popular Science
- Popular Mechanics
- BBC Earth.
If matters of education, elementary through higher education interest you, here are a few choices:
- The Chronicle of Higher Education
- The History of Western Thought (Ha!)
- The Atlantic (again)
- TED (not a personal favorite, but it has its uses)
And finally, if one wishes to learn about sports and sports happenings, the following sources will quickly get one up to speed.
- Barstool Sports (divisive and frequently offensive language,ideas, and images–but a substantial multi-million person readership)
- Fox Sports
- The New York Times
- Sports Illustrated
And if one has a desire to be high brow and literary, these few sources are unparalleled.
- The New York Review of Books
- The Times Literary Supplement
- The London Review of Books
- The LA Review of Books
- The Paris Review
Now, as written above, all one needs to do is to click “like” on the sources above via Facebook or “Follow” on Twitter, and each will immediately begin to populate your newsfeed. This will allow you not only to receive seemingly disparate information from varied sources but allow you to see trends in reporting that might otherwise remain unseen to you if you did not have such a wide array of resources at your disposal.
All the above said, this list is by no means exhaustive, but if you have been wondering how, exactly, one goes about receiving and sifting through the seemingly infinite data available today, this is a good start.