Be the media

When I was growing up, there was a local radio DJ who used to say, “If you don’t like the news, go out an make some of your own.”  I suppose he meant it as a joke, but the idea stuck with me.

It’s an odd system, the “news” industry.  I think it works like this:  Someone does something or something happens; someone else records the event and reports it to some central clearing house like Reuters or the Associated Press; various news outlets get their copy of the report, maybe put their spin on it, and send it to their editors for review; the editor decides which stories are “important” and posts those; finally, we  (the readers) passively consume the content and consider ourselves sufficiently informed for the day.

We might prefer to go to a single information outlet (such as the New York Times or Fox News) or use an aggregator (like Google News).  Either way, we’re held captive to someone else’s interpretation of what news is important for that day, even if the content is clearly drivel.  Of course, if you don’t like the drivel offered, you can go searching through several news outlets to find out for yourself what’s important.  But, that can take a lot of time.

After thinking about this a bit, I went searching for a better way to collect news items.  I found News API.  Then, I figured out how to make it give me daily headlines that interested me (like this).  Maybe there’s something better available, but this is what I found.  Now, I have curated daily news headlines and an archive of past headlines.  I also added an email subscription feature, so you can get these headlines, too, if you’re into that sort of thing.  You can subscribe here.

I’ve configured the headlines according to three filter categories (news outlets I’m particularly interested in following, no filter, and a topical focus).  This works for me, but I’m open to suggestion.  If you would like to subscribe to the headlines and want to suggest a new filter, please do (you can send me an email).  Maybe I’ll adjust them.

Also, if you’d like to, you can create headlines like this yourself–I’ve tried to make the instructions clear.  After all, if you don’t like the news you’re getting, why not go out and collect some of your own?

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