On a personal note, I do not feel any less of a woman. I feel empowered that I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity.
Life comes with many challenges. The ones that should not scare us are the ones we can take on and take control of.
I just watched the alarming video What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains, which reminded me of a recent conversation I had with a total stranger about my many neglected interests (specifically, playing the saxophone). Between the two, I ended up thinking up the many ways I waste/lose time throughout the day.
Cutting to the chase: I feel increasingly frustrated with the way I consume news and information. I’m so disorganized - casually scrolling my twitter and facebook feeds, consuming random articles, then feeling annoyed that I didn’t read something more substantial.
This post is about establishing areas of interest and corresponding news sources. Rather than consume whatever the internet throws my way, my goal is to set aside time each day to read the news from a trusted group of writers and publications.
Here’s my list, by topic.
General News, Politics
- NPR (by default - I listen on my commute)
- New York Times (goal: read the daily front page)
Race, Racial Justice
- Code Switch, NPR
To be honest, there is no way I have time to read through all of these sites on a daily basis. I’ll consider covering 1-2 topics each day a success. The other aspect of this challenge is to waste less of my down time with mindless scrolling (tumblr, that includes you!)
I’ll report back in a few weeks on how this goes.
But what feels like celebration can also carry with it the undertone of condescension. Amid the hood backdrop — the gnarled teeth, the dirty white tee, the slang, the shout-out to McDonald’s — we miss the fact that Charles Ramsey is perfectly lucid and intelligent.
—-Gene Demby, Are We Laughing with Charles Ramsay?, NPR
Demby makes excellent points. This really hit home for me in reference to black Internet celebrities like Ramsey and Antoine Dodds: “They’re actually not the type of people we’re used to seeing or hearing at all.” And that is not a good thing.
Last week, Dot Earth blogger Andrew Revkin hosted a Google hangout with the Inside Climate News team, who won the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting. ICN’s winning project is titled The Dilbit Disaster: Inside the Biggest Oil Spill You’ve Never Heard Of, and it chronicles a 2010 spill into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan, along with the broader issues of pipeline regulation in the United States.
I watched the hangout during a lunch break and (embarrassingly) forgot about it, until I just now uncovered a piece of paper with my notes. These are the moments that stood out to me from the discussion:
Susan White, ICN Executive Editor:
We operate with the same journalistic standards I learned in college…You do not have an agenda, you stick to the facts…There is no difference, except we are online.
There is technology available to make pipelines much safer - why not do it?
David Sassoon, ICN Founder & Publisher:
It’s a question of what impact journalism can have on serving the public interest.
Lisa Song, ICN Reporter:
When I talked to some environmental groups about [the Dilbit spill], they didn’t seem interested. They are focused on getting Obama to reject the Keystone XL.
Obviously a lot of ground was covered. If you’ve got 40 minutes, watching the whole discussion is well worth it.