How do other people deal with the torrent of information that pours down on us all? Do they have some secret? Perhaps. We are asking various friends and colleagues who seem well-informed to describe their media diets. This is from an interview with Jay Rosen, press critic, writer, and professor of journalism at New York University.
I walk to work: no iPod, no media consumption at all. When I get to the office I plug in my laptop and immediately check Twitter: first the messages sent to or about @jayrosen_nyu, and then two Twitter lists I have built for this purpose: Top Journalism Linkers, and Best Mindcasters I Know. That will usually alert me to anything really big that broke overnight or in the UK. Then I will check my Twitter stream itself, about 600 accounts that help me track things on my "beat"-- press criticism, new media, political journalism.
Then it's straight to Romenesko to see what his first few links are, followed by Media Bistro's Newsfeed, I Want Media, and the Daily Briefing from journalism.org. Then I move on to Gabe Rivera's sites: Mediagazer (for media news), Memeorandum (politics), and Techmeme (geek). All these sites are aggregators. Then I go to my email to see what links people have sent me. I always check the Times blog Media Decoder, and whatever Howard Kurtz has up.
When I finish that routine, I feel I have checked in with my beat and I have 10 to 20 tabs open, each representing an idea for a possible Twitter post. Then I start killing the weaker ideas and developing the stronger ones, until I have three to five quality posts, which I try to have out between 8:30 and 10:00 a.m. That's prime time for people checking in with Twitter. Throughout the day I will be watching Twitter for what my 600 sources are telling me, which means I'm clicking all over the Web because I tend to follow people who give good link. I don't use RSS and I don't use alerts. I do everything from the Web; Twitter is my RSS reader.
Around midday I will check the TwitterTim.es for my account to make sure I am not missing anything, and then I look at Andrew Sullivan, Talking Points Memo, Greg Sargent, Glenn Greenwald, Jeff Jarvis, NiemanLab and Dave Winer, quickly scanning their morning output. I pick up the conservative blogs from Memeorandum. I try to always post two to three items to Twitter around 2:00 p.m. Eastern, which is peak hour for web traffic. I check back with Romenesko at the end of the day and that's when I look at the Atlantic Wire, Michael Calderone, CJR.org and Politico's Media blog.
At night, after dinner and parenting time, I try to watch Maddow. After her, I like to read Digby; somehow they go together. Other than Maddow, no consistent television news viewing, except for This Week on Sunday morning. I catch important segments from CNN's Reliable Sources and the Daily Show by downloading them online. I listen to On the Media segments when alerted to them over Twitter. Because I don't commute I hardly ever listen to the radio. The last thing before bed is usually the home page of nytimes.com.
On a daily basis, I read the New York Times, the Washington Post, Buzzmachine, Scripting.com, plus Twitter and all the aggregators I mentioned. Weekly and monthly are not really meaningful time frames for me, except that I check the Jim Fallows blog once a week because he posts infrequently and he's the best journalist I know.
I subscribe to the New York Times in print, plus the Atlantic, Columbia Journalism Review and the New York Review of Books. I don't subscribe to any podcasts, but listen to them when recommended. On car trips, I like to take downloads of Ira Glass. What could I not live without? The New York Times, Twitter and Jon Stewart.
I am currently reading The Bridge, by David Remnick, and I can't wait to dig into the Christopher Hitchens memoir for August vacation. I'm also re-reading Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, by Benedict Anderson, in preparation for some talks I have to give. I don't use an e-reader, so these are all hard copies.
For fun: NBA basketball. Nature documentaries, especially anything with crocodiles. Gangster movies. (If you share this love, read the classic essay, "The Gangster as Tragic Hero" by Robert Warshow.) My new love is Phineas and Ferb, an hysterical cartoon show that my eight year-old turned me on to. Under "fun," I would have to put watching David Gregory, who in my opinion is spectacularly awful to the point of laughter. It's a mystery to me that NBC executives don't see what I see.