The news is dying ... long live the news

Hartford Capitol Building w/ Spanish Language Newspaper

If you, like me, still live in the dark ages in which your news is delivered via a rolled up newspaper thrown over the garden fence every morning, you have probably noticed that the thud associated with said throw has recently become not much more than a gentle pat. They say the traditional print newspaper will be around for a while yet, but its increasingly anorexic state would seem to suggest otherwise.

So, what to do if, also like me, you’re a news and opinion junkie?

Never fear. The World Wide Web that is starving our newspapers on one hand offers up a feast of magic pudding proportions with the other. Earlier this year, with the ample shadow of Gina Rinehart looming over The Age and other Fairfax papers, I took it on myself to sample this smorgasbord in preparation for a possible self-induced Age-free diet. As a result, I now have more quality reading on a daily basis than I could ever digest.

My favourite news source is the Shortlist Daily, an afternoon email with summaries of and links to five or six excellent pieces of journalism from all over the world. Its creators, the publishers of The Monthly, also produce a good daily compilation of Australian political writing PoliticOz. The Monthly is a paid subscription magazine (digital and print) but the two daily emails are free.

On the Australian front I also watch Crikey (a paid subscription), the ABC’s Drum, the Global Mail, New Matilda, and the Conversation (all free). The latter is a hidden gem: good, concise analysis of the news by academics who can write.

Internationally, it’s hard to go past The New Yorker, the New York Times, and the UK’s most comprehensive online news resource, the Guardian. Each of these has some subscriber-only content but a huge amount of free content as well.

Of course this is only the start of what’s available. For independent sports news (Australian-focused) head to the Footy Almanac. For business there's Business Spectator. And the list goes on. If you prefer your politics leaning right rather than left, head over to Fox News or Andrew Bolt, and I’m sure there’s plenty more where they come from. (Personally they give me indigestion.)

I should add after my last post that all of this stuff is readily accessible via tablet e-readers including, in some cases, dedicated e-readers like the Kindle. The essential companion in this case is the Instapaper app which allows you to grab articles as you browse the web and read them later on your device. There are alternatives but I think Instapaper is the most polished.

So when the newspaper gets so light that it floats away before landing, I’ll be ready, and so will you.

Have a favourite online source of news and opinion yourself? Please share in the comments.

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