No, I didn’t read it

If my friends and I were to ask each other, “did you read it?” about a month ago, I would have crushed them. I read it, heard it, saw it… heard they are making a movie about it, so I got the advanced screening tickets. The great thing about being a young professional with a predictable schedule and no family obligation is that you can be a hardcore news junkie/snob.

With a job that required me to travel all the time, I had the local public radio schedule memorized. For example, I knew if I wanted to listen to Marketplace, I would have to tune into KPCC at 3p.m. or KCRW at 2p.m. If my drive were going to be longer, I would opt in for The World instead (it’s one hour long) at 2p.m. or 3p.m. respectively. At noon I’d usually listen to Madeleine Brand, unless it was Friday. Then I’d switch over to Larry Mantle for the Film Week segment. During the day I’d go through my email newsletters from NY Times and click through what I wanted to read. I would go on Facebook to read other publications, if not save it for later. After dinner, I’d go through my phone and read through all the tabs I’ve opened up during the day, including the ones I’ve saved on Facebook. I told you, I read it.

All that changed when I decided to become a journalist. Few weeks ago, while my classmates and I were frantically putting together our summer group project, someone said, “I haven’t read any news in while.” Same here. Oh the irony.

Truth is, I don’t have a media habit…yet. I used to have one, but now I feel like that time when I tried to go to the gym everyday for my new year’s resolution. I’m trying, but it’s not really sticking. Most of the time I’m playing catch up. I’m starting to think I’m going to have to be OK with not doing all of it.

I monitored my media consumption for few days. I would love to write; “I woke up this morning and read through Today’s Headlines from New York Times”. In reality, I slept in and had to rush out of the house because I was up doing my homework the night before. I was listening to NPR on the bus ride home, but somewhere along the line I realized I had no idea what they were talking about because I was thinking about my pitch due Friday. I skimmed through my tweet deck during class just to close it slyly as my eyes met my instructor’s. I have no idea what’s going on in the world.

I’m not worried about it though. I know I’m not getting a lot of news but my head is filling up with other useful information instead. Hopefully when the dust settles I’ll find my media habit stride. I’m starting to find cracks in my schedule where I can sneak in an article or two. And I’m learning that the best way to listen to the radio is when I’m doing something monotonous like the dishes. In the meantime, I have friends who are dying to tell me about what they read.