journalism

The Best Places for News Overviews and In-Depth Writing

News and current events can get in the way of your learning, your spare time, and even the bigger issues. But that doesn’t mean you want to keep away from an entertaining read on what’s going on around the world.

(photo by Entrer dans le rêve) (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

(photo by Entrer dans le rêve) (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Whether you want to sink your teeth into some beefy journalism, or you simply wish to catch up as quickly as possible on what’s hot in the press, here are the sites and services I use for in-depth articles and brief overviews:

In Depth

Longreads – http://longreads.com/ – Extensive articles on all manner of topics. A daily feed of writing that goes into several thousand words a time.

Arts & Letters Daily – http://www.aldaily.com/ – Three articles a day with searching articles and interesting ideas. Under the headings “Articles of Note”, “New Books” and “Essays and Opinion”.

Longformhttp://longform.org/ – More choices of lengthy articles. There are lots of ‘best of’ lists from 2013 picked for you to enjoy.

The Browserhttp://thebrowser.com/ – The website that brings you “writing worth reading”. Enjoy the main feed, or drill down on the Literary and Tech sections.

Overviews

Top 5 News – http://top5news.co.uk/ – Dedicated to showing you the most read articles on various UK news sites. An easy way to see what’s top of the tree all in one go.

AllTop – http://alltop.com/ – With a broad range of subjects on offer, AllTop allows you to find out what news agencies and blogs are writing about on a single page. Simple to use.

Popurlshttp://popurls.com/ – News sites, videos, bloggers, specialist subjects…Popurls covers all sorts of feeds on most things you can think of. Equally good for catching up and finding inspiration.

Feedlyhttp://www.feedly.com/ – A slight cheat, this one. You’ll still have to find the RSS feeds that suit you. But once you subscribe to the relevant feeds in your areas of interest, the articles come to you. No more time wasted seeking stuff out.

As a bonus, get reading quickly by pushing your articles through Spreeder or Readfa.st and watch your reading speed grow as you go. In no time you’ll be reading lengthy journalism in the time it used to take just to catch up on the headlines!

Where do you go for in-depth stories? How do you catch up on recent news? Let us know in the comments.

Student journalism with or without ink

I’m not sure what to make of the news that some student newspapers are cutting print runs or cancelling issues altogether.

photo by lusi

The newspaper industry is struggling across the board.  An increasing number of people are getting  their fix of news online (or not at all).  Many who once read a daily paper now visit the website to get exactly the same news, albeit on a screen.

It’s no surprise that student papers are suffering too.  However, the spring to online content can only be a good thing, surely?

Imagine a student newspaper running in the North of  England.  With an online version, the content is thrown out to the South of England.  Better, it’s thrown out to the whole world.  Trainee journalists  and budding young writers could get a big break after being picked up from somewhere other than on their own campus.

There needs to be a way to claw back costs, but I believe there should be enough inspired ideas to get some money coming in.  And considering that a reduced (or perhaps nonexistent) print run would save a lot of money, the amount of cash that needs clawing back should be greatly reduced.

I understand that some lucrative advertising deals are not allowed under current rules, which is a blow.   But that shouldn’t mean the end of the world for published student journalism.

The game has been changing for a while now.  Hard copy newspaper content has been suffering.  However, there may come a point when a lot of free online content becomes premium.  New choices may then need to be made.

Then again, the abundance of free content may continue and we could enjoy the ride for a while to come, as new forms of income are found.  Everyone would be a winner…

While there is still uncertainty about the future (both online and off), it’s necessary to keep publishing one way or another, even if print runs aren’t available for now.  A fresh approach can cover the ground that’s currently being lost.  It’s not just about maintaining a website.  There’s a chance to have pages on Facebook, connect through Twitter,  put up video on YouTube and Vimeo, showcase local bands through podcasts and MP3 downloads, allow  reader comments on articles, publish up-to-date opinion through blogs, and so on.  It’s all to play for right now.

There are some fantastic student newspapers online right now.  I hope that we see more universities putting their newspaper and magazine content firmly online to let the world see just how talented some of  the future names in journalism truly are.

The Guardian Student Media Awards have a Website of the Year award, so there’s respect to be had.  Past winners include Imperial [http://live.cgcu.net/], Southampton [http://www.wessexscene.co.uk], and Cardiff  [http://www.gairrhydd.com/].  Worthy runner-up prizes have gone to the likes of York  [http://www.nouse.co.uk/], University College Falmouth [http://www.bloc-online.com/], and Lancaster  [http://scan.lusu.co.uk].

photo by lusi

Photos by lusi