Recently, our household made a difficult decision. We let our home delivery subscription to the WSJ lapse. We have been subscribers for the past 4 years or so, but our price went up 20% this year. I attempted to negotiate along the lines of “Just keep the price the same and we’ll stick with you”, but they weren’t having any of that.
Shortly after moving in together, we made a valiant effort to settle on a morning news program to start our day. We tried everything from Fox News to that show that Katie Couric used to be on to the BBC. Each had their own special way of irritating us; be it Al Roker, those annoying people standing outside the Today Show studio, too many European football updates or the general insanity of the Fox News hosts.
This led to the peaceful perusal of the WSJ every morning. For the most part, I still like the paper, but the product has suffered a bit since Mr. Murdoch took over. Karl Rove now writes pretty regularly on the Op-Ed page and, in my opinion, he is just doing it for the paycheck as he doesn’t even appear to be trying very hard. I’m sure he remains a brilliant political strategist, but that is not what I want to read on the Op-Ed page. I want ideas, technocratic things, and news, not angles on how one party or the other can gain. To be fair, a regular column also appears by Thomas Frank who offers a left-leaning perspective. He does this just as poorly as Rove does it for Republicans.
These changes combined with the price increase were enough for us to teach Mr. Murdoch a lesson. Now we are sheepish subscribers of the Washington Post. Granted, I didn’t really want to do it, but we didn’t want to return to the land of TV News so we figured it deserved a shot for the next 6 months. So far, I am a bit overwhelmed because there is so much content. I fear I will fall behind by more than my typical 2-3 days.
If you are a regular reader, you may have guessed by now that I am a little obsessed with:
- keeping up to date on many topics
- getting as many viewpoints as I have time for on a given topic
- making sure my sources are as balanced as possible
This is time consuming and, if I’m not careful, can be a source of stress. I monitor 82 RSS feeds. These run the gamut from friends to work to life in general to good sources of laughter. Then there are books, magazines and podcasts to mix in.
We are lucky to have so many options. What I am always curious about is where consumers get their news because it is an input to how they form opinions on various issues from Paris Hilton to the ARRA. My previous writings clearly indicate that I believe our media does not do a good job of providing us with information. This is one of the reasons I monitor so many sources as I don’t really trust any of them to give me a clear picture.
I am both excited and apprehensive about where the industry might be headed (I have another post in the works on that topic). My point today is to ask anyone reading this where they get their news. Please be as brief or detailed as you see fit. Use the comments or email bill dot schimmel at gmail.
By this time, you may also be mad at me as the title of the post plus one paragraph would have been enough, but I added about 550 extra words.