News via podcasts and e-mail summaries

I was thinking about my car rides back home in San Francisco last month and how depressing it was listening to whatever AM radio station my parents always have on. It’s a local AM radio station in San Francisco that basically reports everything depressing and local: the latest car jacking, the innocent college student who got held at gun point in the middle of the Inner Sunset, a girl who got kidnapped and was found murdered in a random ditch. It’s no wonder my parents go through life always assuming the worst is going to happen and fearing everything and everyone they meet; the limited amount of media they consume makes them anxious to live their lives fully because they are just crippled by fear and hate.

I read a decent amount of news nearly every day. On the weekdays, I start my morning commute with theSkimm and the Morning Brew, and anything I want to learn more about, I dig into later in the day. It’s a bit exhausting to read the news every day, especially since yes, a lot of it can be extremely depressing and blood-pressure spiking. I don’t read all of it because I enjoy it (ahem to the current moron in the White House), but rather because I want to make sure I can at least slightly stay informed. Then I started finding out about ways to listen to the news, kind of like my parents, except actually informative and useful news, via daily news podcasts that give you a brief but well rounded summary of current events, such as theSkimm’s own podcast and NPR’s Up First. I don’t completely love how theSkimm is written because their daily email summaries sometimes can dumb down the news and seem like it’s targeted towards airheads, but I do like the random pop culture news articles and the interesting quotes that they provide at the beginning of each email.

And this morning, when I was listening to Up First, I realized… I wish this was the way my parents consumed their news. It would be great if they heard about the good, bad, and neutral news. It would be better if they heard more about other cities and countries and continents. The world does not revolve around San Francisco. They wouldn’t have to constantly be listening to latest kidnapping or murder and thinking that events like that happen every second on every corner of every street in the world. How does it benefit any of us to be informed of every event like that? What exactly would we be learning from any of that?

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