How do you get your daily dose of news? Far too many people I know get it from just a few sources. We are awash in news applications and yet we choose just one or two sources; too often state run media.
Diversity is a real thing, so why are not most of use engaged in dealing with news from multiple sources to gain multiple perspectives? It has to do with passwords. We all know a longer, complicated, complex password that is more secure, but convenience rules. News works the same way.
Easy. Not. Good.
This is a broad statement but there is truth to it. Things which are easy for humanity are not always good for humanity. Easy passwords? Low security. Instead of creating a more complex password for each online source, we choose something simple and use it everywhere.
Too many news applications tend to have a similar effect on us (one reason why the folks at Mac360 have long advocated the use of RSS news readers).
It takes time and effort to wade through multiple news apps and each source has their own. Apps for Fox, ABC, NBC, CNN, NYT. WSJ, AP, WP, and dozens of others are available, but human nature takes its toll. It requires too much effort to change the channel from Fox to CNN and it requires even more effort to use multiple applications from a variety of news sources so our knowledge and perspective of the world can be broadened.
Here’s a good example of how our visual addictions and smartphone enriched lives have altered how we perceive the days news. One of the most popular smartphone applications is Flipboard. The app is free, fast and easy to use, offers a variety of news sources, and has some customization capability built-in. Apple’s own News app works in a similar manner. Free. And easy.
Google has a News app, too. Free. And easy. Though I worry more about how Google tracks users than I worry about Apple. My less than scientific survey of iPhone users– family, friends, co-workers, neighbors– tells me Flipboard and News are huge. So is the local newspaper for local news. So is Fox, CNN, MSNBC for broadcast news.
What my non-scientific survey also told me was those most of us prefer to obtain news from just a couple of sources. That is not enough to provide anyone with a good view of what really is going on in the world today. I understand the issues of using two dozen applications, and that’s where a good RSS news reader can be an excellent alternative to wandering through many applications. Headlines, summary, detail, depth and breadth are available in an RSS news reader. If you’re stuck on Fox News or CNN then you’re missing an accurate picture of the world.
The curse of too many news apps, too many news sources is much like the need for a complex password for each online source– humans are like water and tend to take the path of least resistance.