“Does following the news work?”

This was hard for me to consider:

I’m beginning to question an assumption I’ve never really articulated, but always held. I’ve long assumed that if you followed the news, the stories behind the headlines would become plain. By reading your newspaper over time, you’d develop a high-level understanding of the issues. You’d have an idea of the characters involved, the dilemmas at hand, the consensus facts, etc. You’ll be armed with the information you need to make decisions on how to advance your society.

But as I immerse myself in this coverage, I’m starting to suspect it’s not so. I’m taking the most linear approach possible to following the news: reading years of relevant stories strung end-to-end in order. I should be the Platonic ideal of the well-informed citizen. Yet many vital questions remain unanswered.

This assumption seems pretty core to journalism…. and reading the news, the latter of which I am very, very attached to.

On the other hand, I get a lot of my news through a filter of blogs.  I think the level of analysis and context missing that Matt Thompson is alluding to here is often provided by blogs, actually.

Were I not so tired, I’d probably go into this more, but hey.

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