Get Good News
You need to get good news for your head and heart.
There are lots of bad ways to get the news. You can be hit with misinformation, overwhelmed with never ending crises, suckered in my grifters, or have your emotional health jeopardized. These are big issues!
The absolute worst thing you can do is to let the algorithms of social media determine what headlines you see. Doing this will cause your biases to become even more extreme. Digesting only networks like MSNBC or Fox is also unhealthy. They over amplify or bury stories with constant partisan spin. They have a rooting interest and are driven by advertiser dollars. They can’t afford to anger their base.
So what should you do? I have a few suggestions.
If you want to be casually aware of big stories, but you know you are prone to stress or anger, you must try this:
The Pour Over delivers six-minute news briefs, three times a week, while helping listeners remain focused on Christ. It’s perfect for the person wanting to have an idea of what’s happening in the world without becoming consumed, obsessed, or stressed. They close news stories with a Scripture or word of encouragement. You can stay informed through their email newsletter or their podcast. I prefer the podcast. Their tone, the music, the Scriptures – it’s both informative and encouraging. When was the last time you had a lovely experience of listening to the news? The Pour Over delivers.
I encourage the deeply engaged folks to try this too. Supplement your other reading with the Pour over. It will help your heart stay in the right place. I’m also convinced we all need some breaks. Set aside a week where you only listen to the Pour Over. Your soul will appreciate the rest.
If you want to engage more deeply in understanding our world, here are three recommendations I’ve been testing for quite a while.
I pay $10 a month to subscribe to The Dispatch. It’s more than worth it. They identify as “conservative” but pledge no allegiance to either party. Their daily email includes summaries of the top headlines, a deep dive into one pressing issue (with excellent reporting), and links to articles for further reading. Their fact-checking is best in the business (and free for anyone). Finally, they have a family of podcasts (also free), including one about legal issues (shockingly engaging) and one about faith. The most recent episode of their flagship podcast features an in-depth interview with a Baltimore Democrat who is running a campaign against the failed, public safety policies of the progressives in his city. Where else would you hear that?
Josh Barro is “center-left,” but spends most of his time challenging the Democrat party. His analysis is wildly refreshing. We need more journalists to challenge the institutions for which they belong. If you prefer podcasts, you can get his content from the Very Serious podcast.
The And Campaign educates and organizes Christians for civic and cultural engagement. They are doing great work! Their Church Politics Podcast tackles the toughest issues with the goal of helping Christians have their thoughts formed not by either party, but by Christ. In the most recent episode, Justin Giboney offered a Bible-saturated critique and firm but gentle challenge to both Georgia Senate candidates: “Show me one place where your Christian convictions put you at odds with your political base?” Oh man. That’s so good. But it’s not a mic-drop. Instead, he follows with a warm invite for both candidates to do better, not declaring either to be the enemy.
I also skim my local newspaper and follow a few local reporters on social media. This allows me to stay informed about my city, but also gives me the opportunity to build connections with these folks.
What’s your relationship with The News? Have you cut back? Revved up? Are you reading/listening to any of the above? Do you have other suggestions for folks?