There is something inexplicably magical about a newspaper.
The crinkle of the thin newsprint. The black residue left on your fingers. The smell that can only be described as ‘newspapery.’
And while I can go on and on about the paper’s tactile qualities, it’s the contents that really draw me in.
It’s the whole world, in this moment of time, captured for history. Images. Reports. In-depth features. Opinions.
The days I get to read the news, in its entire papery glory, are few and far between (usually when I’m traveling, sans Rho, noshing on room service in bed).
But I do make it a habit of reading the news every day, without fail. It’s decidedly less glamorous, but it’s a habit I’m fanatical about keeping. Even if it’s my performing an article (voices and all) about the ruins of Palmyra to my son as he drinks his morning milk.
Which may or may not have happened yesterday morning.
In any case, here’s how to form a very essential news reading habit – no matter your current status.
For The Absolute Beginners
The Skimm is, without a doubt, the best place to start if you’ve never had a news habit. It’s a perfect summary of everything you need to know, written in a way that’s easy to digest in your pre-caffeinated state. Best of all, it fits nicely in with a go-through-email-before-getting-out-of-bed habit.
C’mon. I know you do it too.
For Skimm-ers Who Want Something More
If you’re looking for more (international news, writing style, or content), you’re in luck. There are some amazing daily digests produced by the world’s leading media outlets.
Let’s start with what’s free – namely, the New York Times Morning Briefing and The Week newsletter. The Week is a meatier version of The Skimm, sending 10 headlines and summaries of the stories you need to know today. Like The Skimm, it directs you to full links from a variety of other publishers (CNN, Associated Press, etc).
The NYT Morning Briefing replaced the NYT Now app, and I was a massive fan of the latter. I loved how it highlighted the must-read stories in the day’s paper with articles written elsewhere. The Morning Briefing only features NYT articles.
Thanks to my husband’s Economist subscription, I can also access The Economist Espresso for free. It summarizes the must-read 5 international stories of the day (as well as financial market data that may as well be Greek to me). Each mini-article is written in The Economist’s tell-tale dry voice, which never fails to make me chuckle. At $3.99 a month, I think it’s worth the investment.
Especially when you’re able to name drop the Panama Papers before anyone else in a random conversation.
For Wannabe News Junkies
I get it. You’re short on time, and reading the entire paper can take a while.
Let alone 2-3 papers that people *ahem, husband* manage to get through on a daily basis. (Husband also wakes up at 4 am every day, which is how he gets through the NYT, WSJ, and FT on every. single. day. I would hate him, except that he brings me tea in bed every day).
I digress. I’m about to share my secret to faking like you read the entire paper every day.
- Read The Economist Espresso in its entirety.
- Skim the front page section of either the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal.
- Read the editorials in both the NYT and the WSJ.
- Skim the Life section (in the WSJ) and the Style & Business sections (in the NYT), reading the articles that jump at you.
I also skim the International section in the Times, to get a handle on what’s going on globally (and to help identify new charities to reach out to on behalf of Bridge2Act). This whole routine takes me around 30 minutes. While I rarely get through it all before Rho wakes up, I do manage to read through these sections throughout the day.
News reading is an excellent way to spend a Pomodoro break, you know. I highly recommend it.
I’d love to know – what are your must-reads every morning? Do you read the physical paper, or are you a digital consumer of news. COMMENT below and let me know!