JLM 319 Online News Diary: My News Consumption
Almost all of the news consumption that I have comes from online. This could be either from looking at my phone throughout the day if I am out and about, or on my laptop if I am just hanging out in my dorm room or at my house. I rarely turn on the news on TV, and I never really listen to the radio anymore besides listening to music. I used to get news from all different sources, whether that be a newspaper, TV, or radio. In fact, the Internet at one point was the last way I ever got news for anything. Also, most of the news I consume deals with things that happen in sports, mostly in the National Hockey League, as well as the National Football League. I don’t pay as much attention to other things, like politics or anything happening locally or nationally. I view this as a negative, though, and feel that I need to broaden what I search for online. Even though it is what I want to cover in a job after college, sports should only be one category in a bunch that I need to follow. One reason that I don’t pay as much attention to other types of news is because I always feel like it has some form of negativity attached to it. If the story is about politics, there is always going to be someone who is upset if a policy is passed or not, or if a politician says something or doesn’t address something. A lot of the news also is about negative things, whether that be shootings or robberies that happen in the local or national areas. With sports, most of the news that comes out is positive or isn’t as negative as other news stories. However, just because stories aren’t positive doesn’t mean that they should be ignored, and doing this exercise for this online journal helped me realize that I need to pay more attention to other media outlets, such as CNN or an online newspaper.
This weekend was no exception to the sports coverage I followed. Throughout the weekend, I kept track of news that occurred around the NHL. A lot of the hockey news I get comes from searching for the news on Twitter, as well as visiting the NHL website. Whenever I am searching for hockey news, I will simply put “NHL” in the Twitter search bar and see if anything comes up. This is when I am not signed in to Twitter. The same thing goes for football news by putting in “NFL” in the Twitter search bar. Some other websites that I go on are ESPN.com, TSN.ca, or NFL.com, and I also sometimes look at articles that I see in my Facebook feed, which I did do this weekend. With Twitter, I try to check the sports news there as much as possible. This weekend, I was pretty busy given that it was Labor Day weekend, so I wasn’t online as much, but I took advantage of the free time in order to keep track of news. Twitter is the number one way that I keep track of sports news, because whenever something breaks, I find out about it the second it happens. I look at Twitter at any point throughout a day generally. On Friday, I had not gotten on Twitter until the late afternoon. I found out the news that former Buffalo Sabres left winger Thomas Vanek signed with the Vancouver Canucks then, and I was able to go to the link on that post by the team in order to read the article on the team website. I was on Twitter on my laptop for this news. On Saturday, I went on the NHL website to see if there was any news to read, and I found a story talking about forward Jason Spezza. This was in the evening, and was also on my laptop. I spent time reading the article, instead of just looking at the title. Sometimes I will only look at the title of an article, and hope I remember to go back and look at it. This happens if I do not have a lot of time to read a story. However, if I have time, like in this case, I will read the article. I tend to have more time to read the article at night. The last article that I will mention is an article on Toronto Maple Leafs forward Patrick Marleau thanking San Jose Shark fans for their support over the years while playing for their team. I skimmed this article on Monday morning, and I found it on the NHL’s website. The reason I didn’t actually take as much time to read the story, is that the headline did not catch my attention as much as others do. The headlines play a big role for me in whether I am going to read an article, skim an article, or flat out ignore the article and move on. This article at least caught my attention to skim it.
I also used Facebook throughout the weekend, specifically at least once a day. Each day this past weekend I would go on at night, because during the day I was doing various other things. I never really use the Facebook app on my phone, but instead usually wait until I’m on my laptop at night before I check my news and notifications. There were no articles that caught my attention for the little time I was on it this weekend, but I find that Facebook is a useful tool in helping me find news that interests me that I would want to read. Being able to follow different sports teams and websites helps me find out news the second it happens, and it will appear in my feed. The best part, in my opinion, is that it is only news that I will be following. If I followed ESPN, TSN, and NFL.com on Facebook, then I will only get news and notes from them because I’m following them. This helps me find more stories that I want to read, instead of wanting to skim or skip over a story. Twitter also does this, which is beneficial when I am logged onto my account. However, sometimes I just go on Twitter to look things up without logging onto my account. I logged onto my Twitter account Friday with the Vanek story, but that was the only time.
Overall, I notice from this online journal that I rely heavily on using both my laptop and my phone in order to get news. Despite carrying my phone around with me, I still use my laptop a lot in order to search for sports news stories. Social media is also a big tool in helping me find out stories, because I can find breaking news out the second it happens. It also helps me narrow down the stories in both of my feeds (Twitter and Facebook) about what news I want to read, based on people, teams, and news outlets I follow. I also noticed that I should probably focus on other types of news as well besides sports, even though that it is a passion of mine. Other types of news might have more negative things attached to them, but it is also important to know about what is going on in the world. Politics as well as local and national events can affect everyday life, and people should know what’s going on. This exercise helped me notice the news consuming habits that I have, and how I can change them to help me become more well-rounded with news subjects, as well as monitoring how I obtain news information from sources.