I read news articles, blog posts, punditry and other pieces on the internet pretty much every day. Increasingly I find myself drawn towards some authors, whose work I read religiously, while other authors I almost never read. I thought it might be interesting to talk about the people whose opinions and views we always read, and think about where that leads us.
The newspapers I read are The NY Times, The Globe and Mail, The WSJ and The Guardian, in that order. I read the front page articles, and skim the headlines. The only NY Times column I read without fail is the Minimalist cooking column.
In terms of mainstream Op-Ed contributors and political pundits, my list isn’t that long. There aren’t that many people I find interesting enough — too much heat and not enough light on all bands of the political spectrum. That said, I will always read Thomas Friedman, Charles Krauthammer, Fareed Zakaria (when he’s not foaming at the mouth), Andrew Sullivan (ditto) and Ross Douthat. I like to read the online content at The Atlantic Monthly, generally, as well as RealClearPolitics and FiveThirtyEight. I like the Daily Show and Colbert Report, but don’t watch either with any consistency. Sites like Politico and The Huffington Post are fine for entertainment purposes. I guess that is a lot of politics for someone who cannot vote.
On the general religion front, the list is smaller but I read the same sites almost all the time. GetReligion is #1, with the best coverage of religion in the public square. I set up Google news searches for various religious topics, and scan that daily. The Pew Forum’s religion news aggregator is pretty handy as well. That’s about all I read in terms of non-Mormon religion articles; I suppose this indicates that I don’t really follow much news when it comes to other faiths. I have another Google News aggregator for Mormon news, and I read the LDS Newsroom, Mormon Times and BYU Newsnet (well, Police Beat anyhow).
In the Bloggernacle I’ll read everything at BCC and Kulturblog, as well as Dave’s site without fail. I also read The Juvenile Instructor and Ardis’ blog, as well as A Motley Vision and Zelophehad’s Daughters. If the guys at NCT aren’t sounding too space cadet-y I’ll check them out. I visit Mormon Mentality when a good dust-up appears (see, e.g., college students on welfare). Apart from that, I have to admit that I look for particular authors and commenters. I’ll read anything by Nate, Jonathan or Julie at T&S. I also confess to reading Trash Calls and Snarkernacle (if they have any content).
In terms of commenters, I will read what the other BCC permas say 100% of the time. I like them a lot and conversing with them is the highlight of my day. Otherwise, here’s a partial list of commenters I will likely read 100% of the time: GST, Russell Fox, Justin, Mark B., Molly Bennion, Wm Morris, mfranti, the ZDs, Nitsav, Ardis, meems, mmiles, annegb, Aaron Brown, Matt B., Brian J., MCQ, velska, and a few others (apologies in advance if I have snubbed you, but frankly the list was getting pretty long and already it looks like all I do is read the blogs all day). I guess what this means is that in broad strokes I am community-oriented in how I read and participate on the blogs, and so I am drawn to interesting conversations and interesting people in circumstances that I am familiar with. I don’t foray much into sites I don’t know, and I look to David Sundwall’s A Soft Answer every once in a while to see what’s new… but my participation on new or unfamiliar blogs is dwindling. Not sure why that is.
What about you? Who do you read, without fail? Where do you get your ideas, and what does that say about you?