With so much happening in the world, it has become difficult to keep up with all the news stories. We often find ourselves unaware of a lot of developments in the world due to multiple factors like lack of time to read or watch the news, inconvenient mediums of news consumption like buying newspaper subscriptions, niche news sources that cover news restricted to a particular location, incorrect news mediums, excessive addiction of social media or simply the lack of motivation to stay updated. Nevertheless, there is always a constant compulsive need to be informed about everything that’s unfolding every single minute in the world because you just can’t ignore it given the proliferation of media. So how do you do it?
The credibility and trustworthiness of traditional news media sources like newspapers and TV news are definitely undebatable, however, in today’s world which is technology-driven, traditional news platforms don’t provide news on the go. Besides, the large amount of information-dump and the content creation flexibility of social media makes news consumption on the platform not just unreliable but also messy. However, it is up to us how we choose to consume news using social media.
Regardlessly, we cannot deny that social media today is the fastest way to find out about the latest updates and news events as they happen anywhere in the world. So if you don’t enjoy reading lengthy articles in newspapers, or even newspaper websites and apps, or watching loud news on TV news channels, social media is enough to stay updated if you use it wisely.
Here is how you can do it:
Follow news media houses on social media:
Today every news media house, be it a newspaper, TV news channel or online news media, has a social media presence. They use this platform to provide quick updates and highlights of major news stories unfolding during the day. Further, the news is presented with a smart combination of visuals as well as short and crisp headlines or descriptions. This information is sufficient enough to keep the news consumers informed. Some news media houses I personally follow on Instagram and Twitter are NDTV, ToI, Hindustan Times, Free Press Journal, BBC, Quint, and Firstpost, among others.
Follow journalists and public figures:
Journalists are always active on Twitter and also happen to share important pieces of news or information and opinions on their other social media platforms as well. They shed light on certain crucial topics or raise awareness on these platforms. Following other public figures like politicians or entrepreneurs also helps us know what they are up to. Most of the time, it so happens that these individuals break news or make crucial announcements on their feeds which then become news.
Follow only trusted news sources:
Blindly following random accounts is wrong. Today anyone and everyone has an opinion as well as a large number of social media followers. This does not mean such accounts are credible. Choose your news sources wisely. Due to the ease of opening an account and creating content, anyone can produce any kind of information. It is you who needs to know which source to trust. Carry out a short analysis. Study the kind of information being posted on the accounts, the consistency of posts, the quality and language of the content produced, with what kind of audience or social media users this account/page usually engages, who it follows, as well as who runs the handle. All these factors play a huge role in deciding whether a particular news/information source is believable or not.
Follow a combination of all varieties of news sources and information:
Follow a number of pages that give updates from all sectors like politics, sports, environment, education, city, world, etc. This way you will have a fair idea of things happening in each crucial sector. It’s fine if you don’t have an in-depth understanding of every issue, but being a little aware of the happenings in each sector is important. So if you are following MidDay or Mumbai Mirror which gives you city news, make sure you also follow The Indian Express and BBC which will also keep you updated with what’s happening in the country and the world. Similarly, following Filmfare or Pinkvilla, etc will provide you with all entertainment-related news.
Use Twitter regularly from time to time:
Trust me there is nothing speedier than this platform. For some, it might seem like an outdated social media platform or a platform for those who are only purely interested in news, but that is not the case. The ease to put out a message as short as ‘whatsapp down’ or as long as, or ‘protests against the rise of rape cases in Delhi to be held at India Gate today at 8 pm’ can also be put out on Twitter in just a few seconds. News houses and public figures are using Twitter to their best advantage to build a strong audience. You must also use the platform to get speedy news and updates. Twitter also allows you to find out what people are thinking about various news events by freely putting out their opinions.
YouTube as mini TV news channel:
Many youtubers today are creating explainers which help viewers to understand the background of a particular issue. Further, news houses have also started creating short 2-3 minute news stories which viewers can watch without having to watching long TV headlines. On YouTube, you can simply choose to watch a news video that interests you.
To improve your social media use for news consumption purposes, you can also discuss with your social circle and get to know how they use social media to stay updated. If you feel theirs is the right way and will help you improve your way to consume news through social media, you can always try it out.