Get your Daily Fix- Online!

November 5, 2007

As a continuation from The Daily Paper Challenge, we’ll be looking today at where you can find all the elements of your standard daily paper online.  There are many sites that offer different aspects of your daily news, some more than others.  If you mix and match a bit you can optimize both your time and the relevant news you receive.  Here are some of my favorites:

The first place I would look is the website for your local newspaper that you already receive. Growing up in the Central Ohio area, I’m pretty familiar with The Columbus Dispatch. They offer all their articles online for that day’s news. The only things we would have to find elsewhere are comics. They also have an “electronic edition” that you can subscribe to that is an exact image of the printed paper, and this version includes the comics. I also quickly searched for the online sites of Austin, Jacksonville, Burlington, and Portland’s newspapers, and found very similar offerings.

National news websites.  I usually check the BBC and CNN each morning for my national news. Each major news outlet is going to have its own bias, so if that’s a concern for you, it’s better to draw from two or three different organizations. CNN also has feature articles that are similar to what one might see in the “Life” section of a newspaper.

Your local tv news channel’s website.  This will normally have the most up-t0-date local news, as they don’t limit themselves to the same daily schedule as newspapers.  They also generally have all the weather, traffic, and school closing information as well.  If you’re one of those people that gets ready for the day with the tv on, try spending just a couple minutes on this site a day instead.   The rest of the morning can focus around something you enjoy, like a steaming cup of coffee, a good book, or catching up with a partner or child.

Comics.com has nearly every comic you could be looking for.  It used to be that you could get one comic emailed every day for free, and more if you subscribed, but this may have changed.  All comics can be viewed for free on the site.  If you can’t find a comic there, it’s probably on Creators.com.
Individual comic sites  I’ve found that out of an entire newspaper full of comics, there were only a few that I looked forward to every morning and really made me laugh.  I visit the individual sites of those comics instead of a complied site like comics.com because it actually saves me time in navigation.  I’ve also discovered some new favorite web comics, which aren’t always offered on comics.com

Puzzles Google it.  They’re easy to find; most can be printed out or played online.  Example sites include bestcrosswords.com, thinks.com, and puzzles.usatoday.com .

Sports. si.com and espn.com are my go-tos when I need to know what BCS ranking my football team has.  As I’m not a sports nut so my interest pretty much stops there.  If you’re looking for a more in-depth profile of a local team, or last Friday’s high school scores, try the first option on this list.

Features. I actually enjoy blogs for this.  While CNN offers some feature articles, I enjoy the content on blogs far more.  If you’re getting a few blogs a day via RSS feed or visiting their sites, you should be getting plenty of feature content.

Why is online news better? It’s customizable.   I have a few websites bookmarked that I visit every morning.  I go to BBC for my international news,  CNN for domestic, then I visit my favorite comics: For Better or For Worse, One Big Happy, and Questionable Content.  After that I visit a few blogs and check up on facebook depending on time.  Every once in awhile I visit my old city newspaper to catch up on home, but with a lifetime subscription to the “mom-news-network” it’s often unnecessary.  My favorite part about this system is that if I read something that peaks my interest, I can immediately look it up on Wikipedia for more information.  The tough part is managing my time.  If I get too wrapped up in browsing from blog to blog, or trapped in the black hole of wikipedia european history, I can easily spend over an hour checking the news.  This is time better spent elsewhere…like on my architecture thesis.

Overall, the best reason for getting your news online is this: When you read the paper, you only get the news the paper decides to print.  When you go online, you seek out only the news that interests you.

If you have any other sites that you visit for news….add them!


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