Monday, March 16, 2009

News that stays news

There was a time when I couldn't help but feel dismayed when I would hear someone say that they didn't follow the news. As a good citizen, I felt that one was obligated to follow the news of the day.

While I can't say that I have let go of that idea completely, I have mellowed my stance. With so much meaningless noise and chatter that is packaged as 'news', I am much more forgiving of those who decide to concentrate their attention and their energies to their immediate surroundings.

For my own mental health, I have shifted the time frame of my news consumption. Instead of a daily news intake, I concentrate my efforts on weekly and monthly news reporting through magazines like The New Yorker and Harper's Magazine. Now I feel saner and I would argue that I have a better understanding of recent events compared to the sorry souls who seek enlightenment by watching cable television on a daily basis.

Here's an example. Some of my favourite articles about the financial crisis have been from Harper's Magazine. In fact, in the latest issue there's a wonderful piece called Infinite debt:
How unlimited interest rates destroyed the economy
by a labour lawyer from Chicago.

But what has impressed me most about Harper's coverage is that it started early last year:

Harper's Magazine subscriptions start at $17 per year and with it, you get access to their archives that go back to 1850. Its probably one of the best investments you can make.

1 comment:

Dan Chudnov said...

Thanks for these links - I'd been thinking about resubscribing to Harper's recently and this might convince me.

Fwiw, in fall 2007 the WSJ was repeatedly publishing pieces on how "the slow-motion train wreck" had already started. Anybody who says nobody saw this coming is probably hiding something.