Looking for news

I mentioned in yesterday’s weeknote that I’m currently working on personal project about news. I’ll describe the project itself later in the week, but first a bit of background. There are two main thoughts that have lead me to this project, and here’s the first.

I don’t read, watch or listen to any news these days. Well, certainly no conventional news: newspapers, the Ten O’Clock News, the Today programme, etc. The only current affairs news I’m aware of comes through friends mentioning it on email/Twitter, catching sight of newspaper headlines, and watching The Daily Show.

I’m not proud of this. We should all know what’s going on in the world. But I haven’t found a news source I like enough to devote any time or money to absorbing. I’m too impatient to watch TV news and there’s almost no part of my day when talk radio isn’t a distraction.

I used to read the Guardian once a week but, as with all newspapers, the OK parts were outweighed by annoyances: the poor journalism (often evident in news stories where you know something about the topic), the news priorities (geared towards the sensational rather than the important), the columnists, the sport, the non-news articles…

All of these frustrations meant I resented buying a lump of paper to read the news. And I find news websites too awkward and slow to browse quickly enough to find the good stuff and filter out the bad.

I haven’t found a news publication of any kind that I want to consume as much as I want to, say, watch The Daily Show or read the London Review of Books’ current affairs articles. Maybe there’s something that I’ve missed (please do suggest likely candidates).

But moaning about this over and over again doesn’t do any good. It doesn’t help me know what’s happening in the world. So I’ve decided to spend some time working on this to, hopefully, suggest a solution or, at least, understand the problem better.

More of which, soon.


  • Have you read Flat Earth News by Nick Davies? Actually I imagine you might've after that article in the LRB about it. Depressing/interesting stuff anyway...

  • I haven't read it yet, unfortunately.

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26 Jan 2010 at Twitter

  • 10:50pm: Hopefully getting some American schoolkids in trouble for posting a load of troublesome comments on the Pepys site. He he he.
  • 1:45pm: @spaceboy Oh yes, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Happyish?