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I don't have a television in my room anymore, and I am a bit lost with what is going on in the world. If I have 20-30 minutes every day or so to devote to figuring out what is going on lately, where would be a good place to start?

Is there an online radio station, newsjournal, or video network?

Website?

Mailing list?

I am not going to buy a regular newspaper everyday, but I'm open to anything that I can access by computer.

Thanks for help, suggestions, recommendations.

Luna

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Any major US newspaper, tempered by then reading an outside opinion. I suggest The New York Times (nytimes.com) followed by Al Jezeera (http://english.aljazeera.net/). Get local and world news, and get to digest major issues through different (East-West) paradigms.

I second this. Not a fan of anything associated with cable news in any way, including CNN's site. They do sometimes have some reasonable stuff, but the more ridiculous things like "iReport" non-professional stuff they started mixing in with the real news, the more obnoxious I found it to use the site for anything. Not nearly as bad as on TV, but still not worth my time.

The newspaper-affiliated sites seem to generally be better, though. The NYT is pretty good (and boston.com is somewhat similar (because The Boston Globe is run by the same people as the NYT) but has more local stuff), and so are most of the other big ones, like the LA Times. Can't really go wrong with the BBC, either.

Even if you don't look at them all the time or read a ton of stuff on them, things like Al Jazeera or any other non-US (and especially ones that are non-US and non-European) news source are interesting to look at in comparison, even just to see what they choose to cover and what different places put in the top headline/major story slots. news.google.com is sometimes interesting like that, too, to see what topics are trending or get different stories from different sources about the same topic.

Even just skimming through the headlines and a few of the biggest stories on any of those is enough to keep you more current than 95% of the people in the US in only 15 minutes a day. And then just for shits and giggles and/or to make your brain explode, go watch something on cable news every once in a while, whether it's Fox or CNN or MSNBC or whatever; it's really bizarre to see what they fixate on compared to the rest of the world, or even compared to other US news sources.

Speaking of which, last night's Daily Show must be up now. I'd better go do something about that.

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I'm geographically biased, of course, but I have the BBC News on my favourite list.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/

But it can be set for any region you want to focus in on.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world/us_and_canada/

Advantage of the newspaper format over TV and video news: you can pick which stories you want more on...

I now find TV news really irritating . Too brief on some items, and too long on things I don't see as important or interesting.

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Luna, the other thing you could try is National Public Radio. It's usually down at the low end of the FM dial. I imagine you can get WBUR where you live? Anyway, most of the NPR stations do a simulcast on their websites, so I go to my NPR station's site, click on the broadcast thingy, and then go do something else while it plays. I can play on the computer and still listen to the news and keep up with what's going on.

Having said that, I try to buy a NY Times a few times a week because I'm old and like to hold a newspaper in my hands. On line just doesn't cut it for me. And I'm with Emmetman_--I love the BBC. My local NPR station broadcasts the BBC news a couple of times a day.

olga

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My brother's ex GF works for NYT online, and I respect her journalism and ethical integrity.

Take that for what it's worth. I think there might be a subscription fee these days though? Not sure. I actively avoid the news when I'm like the way I am (it just bugs me) so I hear things second hand, but I usually listen to NPR on the radio driving around if I want news. I'm aware it's heavily slanted left, though, but I like its in depth coverage of stuff....

Anna

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NPR or BBC for radio, and either the New York Times or the Washington Post for print. Most of the major newspapers should be pretty good, though I keep hearing that NYT, WP, and the Seattle Times are top tier. I'm partial to the Washington Post myself.

NPR and BBC are free (I think BBC is free), and the newspapers require a subscription, but if you have the money to spare, it may be worth it. You can actually read the Washington Post's mobile site for free, which is weird.

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NYT online, BBC or NPR radio, both of which I think you can find online as well. Wonkette, not as good as it used to be, but still not bad. Salon.com, awesome. Gawker.com for kind of random pop culture stuff. Jezebel.com for random pop culture, and politics, from a feminist slant.

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This is great guys, thanks. I'll keep this in mind and come back here when I forget or realize I'm slipping!

[which I'm sure won't be hard to do with school. I'm just trying to make an effort to actually know what is going on. I feel like I'm in a black hole]

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My brother's ex GF works for NYT online, and I respect her journalism and ethical integrity.

Take that for what it's worth. I think there might be a subscription fee these days though?

If you have an academic email address (.edu) (which I assume you do, Luna, yes?) you can get free online access.

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You can get a web-based Kindle app to use on your own screen. We just bought a year's subscription to the International Herald Tribune. The view is international from an American expatriate perspective, so not so US centered, but obviously it is directed at English speaking travelers. It is something I actually look forward to reading when I travel. There is a 14 day free trial, and then it is 9.99 a month, which sounds steep, but it would be $60-80 a month if you bought the hard copy daily.

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I imagine you can get WBUR where you live? Anyway, most of the NPR stations do a simulcast on their websites, so I go to my NPR station's site, click on the broadcast thingy, and then go do something else while it plays. I can play on the computer and still listen to the news and keep up with what's going on.

That's a good point that I forgot about. WBUR is indeed our local station. I tend to forget about being able to listen to it online like that for some reason and only remember about the podcasts of the various shows/programs they have.

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A note about money:

Good journalism is expensive. It's frustrating, time-consuming, difficult, and tedious work. Good stories take months or even years to research and write. The journalist's talent is collecting, synthesizing, and filtering information, and reporting on it in the least biased manner possible. It's a talent few people have, or have time for, and one that anyone forming an opinion on an issue should notice. Journalism can be one of the best informants for policy we have. But it takes time and brainpower for the audience to take in and process, making it less popular.

Opinion, on the other hand, doesn't take much effort to produce. Opinion is cheap. Opinion can be informed by facts, whatever their source, but more often these days it's not. More often, it's simply emotional rhetoric designed to excite. That kind of opinion takes little effort to process, and so it's very popular, but not quite so helpful. It also tends to be free, because the popularity makes it attractive to marketers.

That subscription fee for the newspaper pays for something. If you have the money to spare, pitch in.

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