The 5 Best News Apps for the Busy College Student

Every day, hundreds of news organizations across the country publish thousands of stories about various important events happening throughout the world. Open any news app on your phone while waiting in line for coffee and your screen will be flooded with enough headlines to keep you reading until Christmas.

With all of the news that’s reported on a daily basis, it can seem daunting to try and keep up with, especially when you’ve got schoolwork to do and can’t spend three hours of your Tuesday morning reading all 800-inches of the Times investigation into the inner workings of the origins of Trump’s wealth.

Fear not: Here's a list of the 7 best news apps to keep you up-to-date about all the important stuff, sans the deep background that your Chem labs don’t allow you the time to enjoy.


1. theSkimm

How long it take me to read? 8-10 minutes.

Is it easy to understand? Yes, theSkimm knows that you might not be as well-versed on the ins and outs of the news as you might claim to be (who among us is?) and they’re here to help you out. No judgement! Subsections of stories labeled with questions we’re all asking, like: “So, what happened?” and “How’s that expected to go?”

Is it biased? Nope. theSkimm wants you to know what’s going on in the world. Because their summaries are so short, they don’t have the time to sway your thoughts one way or the other.

How do I get it? On the app store or online, where you can sign up to have it delivered to your email every morning for free.


2. The New York Times Daily Briefing 


How long it take me to read? 20 minutes if you’re going start-to-finish and skim the stories that interest you. It'll take longer if you dilly-dally reading the full stories and not just the headlines. Read it on the go! 

Is it easy to understand? Sort of, as it helps to have a base understanding of some parts of the news (i.e. who Mike Pence is, what NAFTA stands for, etc.) while reading. But after reading for a few days you should get the hang of it. 

Is it biased? Some people swear that it is, while others actually read it and trust its content. 

How do I get it? NYT has an app where you can get the briefing for free, or you can get it delivered to your inbox by signing up here. The briefing is free, but if you want full access to the articles (and the crossword!) it’ll cost you.

**But, do check if your university offers a free Times subscription, as some do.


3. CNN 5 Things to Know

How long does it take me to read?  It takes about 6 minutes, give or take a minute. CNN wants you in and out quickly. Read it while you’re waiting for the latecomers to stroll into your 8am.

Is it easy to understand? It sure is! Kind of like theSkimm, but a little more hard news-like. After you get done with the ‘5 things’ you can check out their “Breakfast Browse” or “Today’s Number.”

Is it biased? Again, there will always be the naysayers, but at the very least the daily ‘5 things’ just doesn’t have the time to be biased with their one-page summaries of important events.

How do I get it? On the app, online, or in your inbox. Pretty much anywhere you get internet access, CNN will be there.


4. What A Day Crooked Media Newsletter

How long does it take me to read? 10 minutes – Read it before you go to bed (aka scroll through Instagram for 30 minutes… we don’t judge), as this newsletter is delivered to your inbox in the evening, summarizing the craziness of any given day.

Is it easy to understand? We’re not gonna lie, this one’s political. It’s not that it’s hard to understand, but if you’re new to keeping up with politics it might take a few days to get a hold of things. Don’t fret if you don’t know who Lindsey Graham is yet. You’ll get there.

Is it biased? Oh yeah, this one’s got its opinions. It comes from Crooked Media, a liberal political media company founded by former Obama staffers Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett and Tommy Vietor. Does this make the information wrong? No. But they do throw in the occasional, “This senator sucks!” 

How do I get it? Sign up online to get it emailed to you.


5. BuzzFeed News/Newsletter 

How long does it take me to read? 12 minutes for the newsletter, not much longer to skim through the headlines. Add 5 minutes in for every story you decide to click on.

Is it easy to understand? Fairly, which is why we included it here! The Times, the Post, and even CNN can be a little intimidating when it comes to news-reading. Reading news from the same place that’ll tell you which character from Grey’s Anatomy you are based on your favorite desserts somehow feels less intimidating.

Is it biased? Nope and don’t judge BuzzFeed news until you try it. There is objectively solid reporting on all the same issues The Times and the Post are tackling.

How do I get it? Get BuzzFeed through the App or online. Find the newsletter here.


We know you’d rather be tapping through Snapchat stories than reading the news every morning, but trust us, these apps and newsletters will get you in and out in almost no time at all.


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