anonymous said:

How do you keep track of news stories? I feel like I get so invested in something (Ferguson, Ukraine, Syria) and then the next news cycle comes along and I get sucked into another issue and lose track of the other stories.

This is the inherent danger of a 24 hour news cycle, internet news, and a globalized world. We are inundated with stories and crises on a daily basis. They are almost always important, complex affairs. Unfortunately, this doesn’t translate well into our news mediums. Things like Ferguson, Ukraine, Syria, the Ebola epidemic, and ISIS aren’t headline issues. They are going to take a while to resolve and they can’t be captured in a tweet, a soundbite, or a gif. What happens is we end up getting snippets of information, just enough to provoke a visceral reaction. They scare us or they outrage us but once the story has evolved beyond the initial reaction and the discussion becomes more complex and nuanced there is a new headline to grab our attention. All of this combined makes it very difficult not only to follow a story in its entirety (most of these stories are far from over but as far as the media is concerned they are done) but also to have a discussion that embraces any sort of nuanced solution. Its not you anon, its the world we live in. And its hard. You want to stay informed and up to-date but staying current often means following the headlines. Lets face it - its a big world and its literally impossible to care about everything for a long period of time.

My solution is to try to follow the stories I care about in as comprehensive a way as possible. I like foreign policy so I find sources that do a good job of in-depth coverage and stick with them. This is where twitter and online sources can help. If you care about something find a reporter that sticks with that issue and follow them. You will get updates long after mainstream sources and the general public have moved on. That doesn’t mean you can’t still stay current and follow other issues. Headlines and soundbites are great for that and its fine to know a little about a lot, just make sure you know a lot about what you really care about.