News Emails: Keeping You Informed On The Go

I have a small confession. I’m pretty sure that, as an English major and Journalism minor who writes for multiple publications and firmly believes in the importance of staying apprised of current events, I should be reading a newspaper. Every day. Front-to-back. Even better, I should probably be reading multiple papers. But the truth is, between classes, extracurriculars, and work, I rarely have time to sit down and read a full newspaper.

Last semester, due to my Fundamentals of Journalism class, I tried. I got a digital subscription to the New York Times and I’d try to read at least the front page every night. I didn’t succeed. It wasn’t that I wasn’t interested, but it always seemed as though there was something more important I needed to be doing.

Since starting college, I’ve been unfortunately behind in my news. Last year, at best, I would get quick snippets from my friends and family. Over the summer, I learned to use Twitter and learned all about the beauty of Twitter in the news industry. For people who don’t often find the time to read a paper, the 140-character snippets provided by the Washington Post, the New York Times, and others on their Twitter feeds is beautiful. It’s even better because if you do have a quick moment, you can click the link and read the full article right on your phone.

Still, Twitter wasn’t doing a fantastic job of keeping me apprised. My Twitter feed was cluttered and not at all organized. I had no way of filtering what was truly important news vs. human interest stories that might be fun but ultimately unnecessary. Twitter didn’t differentiate and I’d often miss the actual news of the day in favor of the latest think piece about pop culture (fun and interesting, yes, but not necessarily the most important thing to know).

About midway through last semester, I discovered The Skimm. I’d heard rumblings about it before but hadn’t signed up. One day, the sign-up just showed up on my Twitter and I thought: ''Why not?"

Needless to say, I love it. The ability to read these short snippets right when I wake up in the morning is great. I suddenly have a much better idea of the important news stories I need to keep abreast of. If I’m interested in learning more, there’s always links to further news stories that provide greater detail. 

So when I heard about Vox, a similar news email system that comes out at night, I didn’t hesitate to sign up. While not as fun as the Skimm, Vox arguably provides the more comprehensive news coverage. The news is delivered in one sentence tid-bits and provides links to source articles. All-in-all, between the two programs, I’m getting a much better dosage of up-to-date news coverage than before.

If I learn about another program, I’ll probably sign up for that too. I think that the idea of news mailings is brilliant, both for traditional papers and for consumers. It increases digital traffic for the original articles and provides me with the opportunity to know what is happening even when I don’t have time to read the paper.

That said, the importance of reading a traditional paper should not be underestimated. When I have the time, I still like to look through the digital papers available for the New York Times and the Washington Post and read as much as I can. The Skimm and Vox do a good job of summarizing the news, but it’s still not comprehensive coverage.


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Images: 1 (provided by author), 2, 3, 4, 5 (provided by author), 6