In my search for summer internships, one of the questions I dread being asked is what publications I read regularly. Coming from the Bay Area, I mention the San Francisco Chronicle instead of the Los Angeles Times and usually immediately see the judgment in my prospective employer’s eyes. But in all honesty, it might not matter. With so many articles read and stories shared and trending on all of my social media platforms, it’s really getting difficult for me to keep track of where I’m actually getting all of my news.
While it may sound unprofessional to lack a go-to response when asked what publications you read, it’s not the end of the world if you say you have a variety of online sources to stay informed. In reality, it’s much better to find a consistent way of your own to be in the loop, even if it’s not an esteemed news source.
If you are not a New York Times subscriber but have exceeded your freebie online article limit and refuse to pay for news that “you can get for free,” there are plenty of other similar and accessible news articles on the Internet. Online-only sources like Twitter and Reddit are already commonly accepted sites, while others like Buzzfeed and even Facebook are trying catch up in pace through increasing shareable content and visibility of trending topics.
Surprisingly, I’ve found that in some instances, my Facebook news feed spreads news and tells people what’s happening faster than Yahoo! or even my AP Mobile app. Whether it’s a story on a Pinkberry founder beating up a hobo, How I Met Your Mother spoilers or updates on the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, my Facebook friends regularly keep me up-to-date with what’s going on. And though UCSD Confessions is usually just a page to get a quick laugh, a few weeks back it had probably gotten UC students riled up about the proposed amendment to California’s Proposition 209 more effectively than had any op-ed published by professional newspapers.
While I’m not telling you to accept every “10 Ways to Know He’s the One” article shared by your friends as news or even as hard fact, some blog posts are great starting points to grab your attention to learn about bigger, serious issues. And though there’s something that seems really mature and adult about a literate college student elegantly sipping an espresso while opening up an issue of the Times at Starbucks, this is probably only because they’re about as rare to find as an S spot in Pangaea.
Lying in an interview or even in casual conversation will only lead to further judgment and blank stares as soon as someone tries to start a conversation about presidential candidates or any kind of foreign diplomacy. To avoid the drama and embarrassment, just make it a point to get your news the best way you can and stay informed. And if you really hate reading, there’s the 10 o’clock news, where you can sit back and watch without having to do any work at all.