How do people deal with the torrent of information pouring down on us all? What sources can't they live without? We regularly reach out to prominent figures in media, entertainment, politics, the arts and the literary world, to hear their answers. This is drawn from a conversation with Heidi Moore, New York bureau chief and Wall Street reporter for public radio's Marketplace.
Twitter is absolutely the first and last thing I do every day to check news. I always dream that a perfectly curated Twitter feed will just allow the most important news to osmose into your brain, or work like one of those infomercial gadgets: "just set it and forget it!" I don't mind Twitter's enormous volume because the RT function provides something more important: emphasis. I get to see what resonates with people and gets RTed.
Sometimes I’ll use HootSuite, but generally I just like Twitter.com because it’s a single feed and you don’t have a lot of stuff distracting your attention. The problem is, of course, that you don’t see your direct messages as easily and it’s weird how people get priority. When I retweet I look for stories that are retweeted multiple times, so I follow a lot of news publications. Generally, if I see an article in my feed once I may not click on it right away but if I see it twice I will.
And there’s a few people who I look to on Twitter. Chicago Mercantile Exchange (it sounds wonky and specialized) is a good source. Josh Brown, he does financial news and he’s insightful and always funny. He definitely has an idea of what makes people want to click on an article and engage with it, which is valuable. Then I get a lot of my general news through two very active tweeters at The New York Times: Jim Roberts and Patrick LaForge. They have terrific news judgment and retweet not just Times stories, but stories from other publications. And there are other journalists who do aggregation type work on their Twitter feeds who have a good eye, like Anthony De Rosa at Reuters. I know if they pick something, it’s worth reading and engaging with in some way.
I now follow about 1,600 people and I unfollow and follow people every day. I’m kind of ruthlessly utilitarian about my feed. It has to be able to provide the best news that I can read, scan and find interesting. As to when I unfollow, a lot of financial feeds tend to act like the world is ending, I hate that. There are a couple major news feeds that I’ve just stopped following many times.
Early in the day, I always read Morning Money by Politico. That goes up at around 5:30 am, so it’s usually one of the first things that I find on my phone. I check Twitter all the way into work and throughout the day I keep it open on my screen. Once I’m at work, I watch Bloomberg TV and CNBC's Squawk Box. I think Andrew Ross Sorkin is doing a really good job on it, the show has good conversations at a bizarre hour in the morning where you kind of need to know what the emphasis of the news is going to be.
At around 11 am, we have news meetings at Marketplace. We write memos for the editors on what should we cover. So, if I don’t have a source meeting I'll be reading news to prepare for what we should be covering on my beat, which is Wall Street.
I’ll check places where I’ve worked, like Financial News, The Deal, and listen to Marketplace radio (I listen to most radio on podcasts). My homepage is The New York Times. I’m an obsessive Times clicker-arounder and I read every section online. And there are a number of blogs that I visit: I really love reading The Financial Times Alphaville, it’s been all over the European bond crisis. I like Dealbreaker, it’s hilarious. I like LOLFed, another satirical site that mixes I Can Has Cheezburger with Federal Reserve news.
And, of course, I visit The Wall Street Journal blogs. I read (and used to write for) Deal Journal, MarketBeat and the Real Time Economics blog. That’s one of my secret weapons. Anytime something "economics" comes up, that’s where I go first because they have research discussions, analysis and they’re so wonky you can trust their perspective.
To help filter news on Twitter, I like my financial markets list. It tends to be really concentrated, if I can’t check anything else I’ll check that. And my economics list too, because the people who are economists on Twitter and who are in the financial markets on Twitter have really built this ecosystem where they’re very focused on what’s particularly newsy. And I love getting their perspective isolated from the general news accounts that I also follow.
I also love all things Bloomberg News. I visit the Bloomberg site because it updates constantly and it always has something good on it. On all of their sites (like Bloomberg Markets, Bloomberg Businessweek) they just take a really sharp view to news. They get really juicy details, you’ll be reading a story and it’ll be just eye-popping from paragraph to paragraph.
Then I mix it up with general reading. I subscribe to The New Yorker, try to read The Economist every week and adore Vanity Fair and New York magazine (And Daily Intel and Vulture are genius and always entertaining). And The Awl, I read it every day and my love for it is so pure.
In print, I’m a magazine addict. I will actually buy magazines on the newsstand because I’m in such denial about how many magazines I read. I always have print reading material with me: Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy magazine (also their Twitter feed is really good) and Monocle, Interview, W, Tatler (it’s one of my guilty pleasures) and many others.
At the end of the day, I also check in with The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal sites around 10 pm because that’s when they put up the next day’s news. The entire web has a circadian rhythm, so you’ll find that story postings tend to spike at 8 to 9 am, then noon and then at 10 pm. So, at night, I’ll check those places to see what’s going to be interesting for the next day.