Thursday, February 7, 2008

Get Quick News: NPR's 5-minute News Summary Podcasts

I've heard students and professionals alike lament about how much time they waste on the internet reading news. Grad students are incredibly susceptible to this since we're so often just sitting in front of a computer with no risk of a boss walking behind us, doing work that is just begging us to stop and browse websites, like the news. In addition you increasingly hear bloggers and other modern productivity folks talk about how they've stopped reading the news completely as it's a "waste of time."

Wow. News is a waste of time? I beg to differ. If that's your cup of tea, so be it. But I think realizing we live in an increasingly global, interdependent world and keeping up on current events is by no means a waste of time. In fact, some would go as far as to say it's irresponsible to be oblivious to current events. I'm not going to pass judgement, but I will suggest a nice middle ground.

If you're either find yourself,

  1. not keeping up on news because you're too busy but you'd like to,
  2. spending a lot of time clicking through news and other websites as an escape from doing work,
then try out a short news podcast. My personal favorites are NPR's quick news summary websites that are all approximately 5 minute long and are put out at various times throughout the day. I like to listen to it in the morning on the way to school. It's short, to the point, and keeps you current. I've also found that they help quell the desire to quickly browse the news when I'm stuck doing something I find hard or unenjoyable but I really should get done so that it gets off my mind and stops causing stress. Why browse? I already got yesterday's summary this morning and will get today's summary tomorrow morning. Up on current events, less escape browsing: two birds, one stone.

Any other podcast suggestions? Suggest them!

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