What Do You Use For News? [We Ask You]

We Ask You   What Do You Use For News? [We Ask You]The way we receive news has changed beyond all recognition. If you traveled back in time 500 years then you’d find news was passed on either by official government bulletins or, more than likely, word of mouth. Travel back 100 years and the passage of news was still slow, though it reached many more people thanks to newspapers. Travel back 50 years and television had become a huge presence.

Now, in the present day, there are numerous methods for consuming news, with stories breaking around the world shared with the entire planet in a matter of minutes. This is both a good and bad thing. Good in the sense it has empowered the general population with unfettered information, bad in the sense that a lot more misinformation is passed around, both accidentally and on purpose.

This Week’s Question…

For this week’s We Ask You column, we want to know, What Do You Use For News? In other words, where do you source your news from? We don’t want a big long list from everyone who takes part in the debate, instead seeking an insight into how each member of the MakeUseOf readership receives breaking news and in-depth features.

newspaper fetching dog   What Do You Use For News? [We Ask You]

There are a host of different sources you could cite. Are you a sucker for the old-school printed editions of newspapers? Do you sit hooked to 24-hour rolling news channels? Does word of mouth still play an active part in your news-gathering habits? They’re the main offline options, but the Web is awash with other options.

There are social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, the latter being especially important for the breaking of big stories in countries other than your own. There is Google Reader and its various alternatives. Which website do you trust to deliver the news that interests you and in a manner which suits your tastes?

Do you subscribe to the online versions of popular newspapers in order to break through the pay wall? Would you ever consider doing so? Do you have an app or apps on your smartphone or tablet that delivers the news to you when you’re on the go? Choose your favored news service and let us know what it is and why you rate it more highly than all of the other options available.

Drawing Conclusions

All comments will be digested to form conclusions in a follow-up post next week where we will detail what You Told Us. One reader will be chosen for the coveted Comment Of The Week, getting their name up in lights, the respect of other readers, and 150 MakeUseOf points to use for MakeUseOf Rewards. What more motivation than that do you need to respond?

We Ask You is a weekly column dedicated to finding out the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. The questions asked are usually open-ended and likely to necessitate a discussion. Some are opinion-based, while others see you sharing tips and advice, or advocating tools and apps to fellow MakeUseOf Readers. This column is nothing without you, as MakeUseOf is nothing without you.

Image Credit: Carterse

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SourceFed and buzzfeed

Rajaa Chowdhury

There has been a major paradigm shift in news deliverance over the last two decades over the traditional method. Traditionally, I used to depend on newspaper, but somewhere down the line as internet started becoming a household phenomenon in my country India, I certainly started accessing the portals (Yahoo, MSN India, etc.) and the newspaper websites (Time of India, The Hindu, Anandabazar Patrika, etc.) for my news source. As of now, I think all the newspaper and current affair magazines in India have very evolved websites for news source. However, for the last couple years, there has again been a personal change of habit for my news source with the smartphone platform now a common man’s things. Now I do actually read all my news through the various android apps installed on my smartphone like the India’s newspaper apps or apps like Pulse or Appy Geek (for technology news), etc.

Dave Parrack

Isn’t it amazing how fast technology is changing? News was delivered to the masses in the same way for hundreds of years, now it’s changing every decade.


I mostly get my news from TV news networks. It’s the easiest means for me to keep updated on current events since I’m not surfing the web often.

Yep, I’m still a sucker for newspaper. I’m reading from it like twice a week or so.

I’m not so diligent about getting news from Facebook and Twitter. But I do try my best to surf the net for credible sources for news when I have the time.

Sadly, I don’t have a smart phone or tablet (living under a rock for the past decade hehe) so surfing the net using a dektop / laptop is still for me.

Dave Parrack

Serious question: Do you mind that most television news networks have a bias, particularly when it comes to politics? And do you choose one that fits in with your own bias?


NO would be my answer to your second question. The reason is I don’t really like politics that much so I don’t frequently check out news regarding this issue. Politics in my country is really bad. Public “SERVANTS” are doing the slave driving to make themselves richer with total disregard of the public they are supposed to serve.
Hey, maybe you can start a new We Ask You article about this.

Regarding your first question, it IS troubling to find out of such. Journalism is about getting the truth not just from one side, but both sides of an argument. I guess they’re just following the saying ‘Don’t bite the hand that feeds you’.

Lisa Santika Onggrid

I totally agree. My country’s condition is similar but fortunately journalism here isn’t that bleak. Dave, I second the suggestion to do a ‘We Ask You’ with that question.

Dave Parrack

I’d struggle to tie that subject in to technology, sadly. Good suggestion though :)

Rajaa Chowdhury

Yes, a valid point raised. I do avoid TV news, as most news channels in India are either run by some businessman politician or affiliated to some political parties, giving a very biased view on events. So, are some newspaper too, so I depend more on portal and apps to those news sources, which I guess are unbiased.


RSS/Google Reader

Add a feed and read scraped header. When a title catches your eye read it, if its a long read then star it and read it later. One day I’ll create a IFTT recipe.

When star article > send to Evernote > unstar Google reader article


I get my news from a variety of sources but mostly ones that are online. My most frequented are Google News which I like because it aggregates a bunch of events and offers them from various sources that allows you to compare them a little through how they write their headlines or what they mention/fail to include. Twitter’s also one of my frequented places, nobody at the moment can compete with Twitter usually for breaking news, as mentioned above including world affairs. Sometimes I go and check the news on tv if I’m bored.

Ramandeep Singh

Even then Google News has a drawback for me. Though you can surely see personalized news but those personalized sections always has 2 or 3 maximum news and to read more you have to click ‘more of xyz’ (something like that). That is an irritation for me. If I check Google News daily I’ll miss many good or interesting news “for sure”. And to read them I’ve to click that particular section to see all news under it.
And the drawback of twitter is, it does not support all mobile carriers. So a large no. of people can be left behind receiving updates from it. I would have “loved” twitter if it supported my mobile SP.

Dave Parrack

Twitter is amazing for breaking news, and I think it’ll continue to grow as a means of delivering stories in that way.

I also like Google News. It’s not perfect but it’s a good way of seeing a smattering of stories.

Ramandeep Singh

First – Google Reader
Second – I have speed dials The Times of India and CNN for India news and Asia news respectively in my browser. For world news I watch CNN on TV.

I rarely do more. And I need all that. Not a single can be my favorite. Though I want to choose G.Reader but if you use it for news it’ll then have a very long list of articles because news are written more fast than general articles like on LH and MUO. So those are my choice. A feed reader, a newspaper and a news channel.

Nevzat Akkaya

Google Reader, Google+, Twitter and MakeUseOf :)

Nevzat Akkaya

I don’t spare much time to watch TV anymore. Internet has replaced it.

Dave Parrack

Ain’t that the truth!

Nevzat Akkaya

bitter truth :)


Google Reader for everything.
Twitter for breaking news and live updates.

Alan Wade

I recieve all the tech news through Google Reader and the world news through an app on my phone. In this day and age I rarly pick up a newspaper and are always too busy to watch the news on TV.

Dave Parrack

I can’t remember the last time I read a newspaper. How are they ever going to compete when printing news that’s at least 12 hours out of date?



Sage is a lightweight RSS and Atom feed aggregator extension for Mozilla Firefox. It’s got a lot of what you need and not much of what you don’t…


RssDemon is a powerful, clean and easy to use news and podcast reader. You subscribe to news, blogs, podcast feeds and read the feeds in the comfort of your mobile, with or without online access.

Dave Parrack

Nice suggestions. I hadn’t previously heard of either. :)

John Hannibal Swift

Newspapers are too biased to trust on any subject, so my news comes from BBC Radio 4, usually. That and Prismatic.


Yes, newspapers are biased, mostly reflecting the biases of the ownership and/or editorial staff. However, all other media outlets, be it TV, radio, Internet or word of mouth are cursed by the same biases. There are NO unbiased news sources. Because of human nature, all the news comes to use with at least the reporter’s spin. If the sources seem unbiased, that is only because you and they share the same point of view.

Dave Parrack

I wouldn’t strictly agree with that. There are some journalists and news organizations out there capable of delivering the news without any agenda or bias attached to it. They’re rare but they do exist.

The Web is a different beast because opinion is valued more thanks to its ability to generate a conversation and/or social networking shares.


“I wouldn’t strictly agree with that. There are some journalists and news organizations out there capable of delivering the news without any agenda or bias attached to it. They’re rare but they do exist.”

I beg to differ with that statement. I would say it is next to impossible for a human being not have some kind of bias. Biases arise from life’s experiences. I can guarantee that the journalists and/or news organizations that you say are unbiased, others do find biased.

But this thread is not the place for a long, philosophical discussion about biases and their sources.

Dave Parrack

Every human being has biases, I agree. But the absolute best journalists can write copy without bringing those biases to the fore.

Curt Schroeder

Breaking world news mostly from BBC Radio 4. All other news via a variety of RSS feeds read on My Yahoo! and Daily Rotation. I’ve configured My Yahoo! with several pages: Front Page, Comics, Entertainment news, & Newspaper feeds.

Tom Sobieski

NY Times, NY Daily News, Washington Post web sites, Google News, and a host of others

Mac Witty

I still like my morning paper in paper, old school
Saying that, the subscription include an online version and go behind the paywall, and I use it from time to time
Follow people on Twitter and Google+ and get news link fro them to read online
Then I’m also a evening news watcher, even if I use the public TV internet version more often including BBC from time to time

Dave Parrack

That’s the full range of services then… you’re Rupert Murdoch’s wet dream.

Mac Witty

I didn’t say we pay for the subscription ;)

Dave Parrack

Ah, good point :D


Morning tv with coffee. Internet Drudge Report because it has a huge amount of international sources for newspapers and news in one spot. One can never get to much information.


To obtain my news I use the local newspaper and a couple of TV networks. I have learned what the biases of each are and try to allow for that or at least filter those biases out.


I get my news from MakeUseOf, TheHackerNews, Google News, or CNN depending on when I am looking for something interesting or not because I am just that bored.

MakeUseOf: News that doesn’t entirely interest me, but I’ll still read it if I think I know what’s going on.

THN: For when I’m looking for recent cyber attacks to read up on.

Google: For when I run out of places to go.

CNN: For when I want something more local, but still about technology.

Dave Parrack

What sort of news would you like to see more of on MakeUseOf?


Honestly, I’m not too sure because thrre’s rarely anything extremely interesting to me in the news on the internet, but you could try to talk more about things like the Burger King Twitter hack that happened recently.

Dave Parrack

Our policy regarding news is the same as the rest of the site… someone, somewhere needs to be able to make use of the content. The Burger King Twitter hack was an interesting story, but aside from being entertaining there wasn’t much to make use of. Thanks for the suggestion though :)

Vijay Pereira

In india if there is any best source of news then its the TOI android app.
Full news at the tip of your hand..
Your get the uptodate news in that..
For me thats my source of news.

Robert Largent

Email and texts from CNN for breaking news.
ESPN app on phone for relevant sports news.
FB feed for some local news from local TV stations.
My local newspaper has a pay to veiw policy, you get like 4 free a month so I read their RSS Feed headlines on MyYahoo. If I see something that piques my interest I Google it and read it elsewhere.

Eric Wardowski

I get most of my news from RSS feeds and radio.

Dave Parrack

Thanks for mentioning the radio… I forgot to include that in the write-up.

Vipul Jain

I think Newspapers are the ONLY thing that I use which do not feature a screen.
And I’d really like it to be that way.
Online newspapers would just closen the bridge between me and glasses/contact lenses.. =D

Dave Parrack

I’ve never thought about it that way but you’re saying newspapers are goo because they get you off the grid for a while?

Vipul Jain

If by grid you mean the social networks and all, then no.
I simply meant a screen.
Nowdays everything is on our fingertips, all packed into 3-10 inches.
So reading a newspaper, for me, is the only time when I can relax my eyes on some non-backlit articles on my chair under the sun, without having to worry about increasing brightness.. :P

Dave Parrack

By grid I meant the Internet as a whole :) I value my time not looking at the screen too but I tend to turn to books more than newspapers.

Vipul Jain

Lol, on the other hand for books I turn to eBooks :D

Dmitriy Haralson

personalty, it’s a split between print and digital. because i commute by train in the morning, i usually have 15-20 mins to read the free newspaper that is distributed on the stop. for me these news stories are classed miscellaneous for more specialized news, i go to specialized news sites, that deal only in, say technology.


I need a daily dose of a print newspaper to make it through the day. Coffee, breakfast, the newspaper and a view of our bird feeder give me a calm start to the day. Since I’ve usually heard the awful/startling/ugly news elsewhere, I can concentrate on the local stories, reviews and comics. I see things I’d never look for online.

Dave Parrack

Perhaps that’s where the future of newspapers lie… local, niche news that just isn’t reported online.


“Perhaps that’s where the future of newspapers lie… local, niche news”

Funny you should say that because that is how newspapers got started originally.

Dave Parrack

I guess they did, yes. That’s an interesting turnaround then. I wonder if any of the big names will revert to what made them in the first place?


What made big names great was acquisition of the little guys. They are all conglomerates.

J Newman

its a combination …i like reading the actual paper but i also watch news on the tele and online

Mohammad Wasiullah

I read news paper from the road side because we never give any money to the poor people this one of the good way help poor people i can not leave this process because old is gold.

John Monaghan

I usually start the day with CNN.com then Huffington post before I settle down to work. During the day I scan CNN for anything breaking and then NPR late in the day for wrap of the day’s events.

Dave Parrack

I’ve never personally seen the appeal of The Huffington Post. Please, enlighten me :)


A point of view different than yours, perhaps?

Dave Parrack

It was a genuine question. I’ve read HuffPo but have never bookmarked it. It’s very U.S. centric, so perhaps that’s why I’ve never “got” it.


I gave you a genuine answer, although it may have sounded flip.

Was it Sun Tzu who said “Know your enemy”? Many people dislike HuffPo vehemently because they heard it is not “their” brand of politics, so they won’t read it. My question is If one doesn’t read it, the how does one know what one is objecting to?

“It’s very U.S. centric, so perhaps that’s why I’ve never “got” it”
And I don’t get the UK-centric sites. /grin/ We both do not have any, or only few, points of reference. We do not have the background.

Aleksandra Huey

Google Reader and Yahoo

Juan Pedro Secondo

Actually using Google Currents. It has a great list of categories to filter. The articles are well edited for my smartphone.

It’s a great way to get informed with the info you really are interested in.

Dave Parrack

Google Currents is a good choice for smartphones and tablets.

Daniel Dawson

i get my news on tv at night and during the day on huffington post


My Yahoo RSS Feeds

Victor Ong

Technology has increased so fast in so little time. News can be broadcasted in almost any form. Here’s what I use:

In the morning/afternoon I listen to the radio. This includes ONLINE radio and regular, signal-receiving radio. When I listen to the news flashes put in here and there it perks my interest to:

GO GOOGLE IT. I google it so that I can get more in-depth knowledge of specific pieces of news

When I go on facebook my feed is constantly flooded with little news bites, most of which I will go on to google.

As always, there is television. Television is a really good way to get news about my local community and about worldwide developments. They usually have very good, in-depth reporting, and if there is anything more I need to know, to google I go.

The last is newspapers. However, the newspapers I get are mostly political opinion pieces (ugh). There is always news in the paper, but it’s mostly bathroom reading.

I guess for me it really comes down to catching wind of the news somewhere online or on the radio, then googling it for further information.

Dave Parrack

It all comes back to Google and the Web in the end.

Mark E. Smith

90% Twitter, 10% list-serves.

I don’t watch TV, listen to radio, read newspapers or magazines, or visit large websites. I do subscribe to a few mailing lists dealing with causes that interest me. But I rely on Twitter for most of my news.

Here in the US I follow activist Tweeps in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Denver, Chicago, New York, and a few other cities. Globally I follow activist Tweeps in Iceland, Venezuela, Germany, the UK, Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine, Japan, and many other countries. Sometimes eight consecutive Tweets on my timeline will be in six different languages. I copy the batch and paste them into Google Translate, then translate each language one by one. It’s quick and easy because Tweets have to be short and concise even if they’re in Arabic, Japanese, German, Portuguese, Greek or French, and if I guess the language wrong, I try another until the English translation appears.

Getting my news from people on the ground lets me feel confident that I’m not getting media and/or government spin, and I can be up to date on events that the mainstream media won’t cover like the current protests in Greece or rumored FSA attacks on Lebanon. Learning who to follow and who to block takes time and attention, but over the years I’ve found reliable Twitter activists who make my timeline the best source of news I’ve ever had.

Dave Parrack

Wow, you’re the proof that Twitter works as a source for on-the-ground news. There’s no doubt that Twitter can be a force for good in bringing important news to people who may have previously remained in the dark about what is happening.

harley bellwood

Yahoo for sports and news when I’m online, CNN & CP24 on television. I used to like newspapers but you have to recycle them when you’re finished reading and I have enough debris to get rid of as it is.


Everything is on Facebook. If it wasn`t Facebook neither I would be here to comment.

Dave Parrack

We’re grateful to you for commenting, and, I guess grateful to Facebook for being there ;)

Cerese Minetti


Gillian V

Newspaper, TV, radio. It depends on where I am. Online is not high on my list.

R A Myers

I use Standard Broadcast AM/FM, shortwave, news papers/magazines (libraries are great!), television and the internet. I gather from left, center, right, different types of governments and points of view. The Voice of Russia, BBC, Radio Netherlands, VOA, AFRTS, Deutsche Welle, Radio Australia, Radio New Zealand, CNN (and similar), Fox, PBS, Voice of Viet Nam (w/Ha Noi Hannah) and religious organizations all have different interpretations and opinions about the same incident. Each of them can bring attention to a situation that bears further investigation even though the first source has a political or social agenda . I remember AFVN radio and TV stating that the news was “edited” for use in Viet Nam, and was not the same as the newspapers that cushioned my care packages nor what I heard on short wave.

Dave Parrack

Wow, that’s quite a list. I like your way of thinking; it’s certainly important to gather a variety of views from different sources.

Ashish Maharjan

Facebook and Twitter is the mostly used for news now a days. But there are many others ways to get news as listed above. I read news through the newspaper’s own website as it provides the exact news as printed newspaper and some extra stuff.

Ron Lister

I use to read the paper and magazines and catch the broadcast news when possible. Now I use google news and set up feeds about topics I want news about along with local news national news and world news headlines. I still catch broadcast news too. not so much of the paper and magazines anymore my wife does like to get the paper for coupons though.

Dave Parrack

Would you say the Web has made newspapers totally irrelevant then? Aside from the coupons, of course ;)

Ron Lister

Sadly (because of the jobs that will be lost), I feel that is the direction were moving yes, I think technology is evolving so fast that people who cant adapt are not going to survive, but that’s a whole other blog post isn’t it. there’s your next article.

Dave Parrack

That’s a great suggestion, actually. Perhaps not for this week but I’ve noted it down for the future. Thank you.

ion popa

Google Reader and Twitter.

Robert Owens

I completely rely on Internet news-aggregator sites like “Yahoo News,” “MSN,” “Newser,” and yes, even the “slanted” news aggregators like “Drudge Report” and “Huffington Post.” I also read my local newspaper online rather than have a “paper” subscription.

I also occasionally watch news videos from several different news sources via the XBMC software.

My set-up admittedly is very limiting when breaking news events occur, since it’s difficult to watch live news via the internet. But I also am able to avoid all the “talking head” punditry that’s so prevalent on TV news channels.

Dave Parrack

TV news channels, in particular U.S. ones, are built on talking heads and opinion. I guess there’s an audience there for them, but it’s not for everyone.

Lisa Santika Onggrid

I still read newspaper everyday. Yes, old school. I also follow several websites in the line of my interest (gaming, tech, etc) like MUO. The rest? I can count on click-happy. I also subscribe to several magazines (printed version). I love computer, but for some reason I’m not ready to rely on the internet for everything.
I used to argue that news circulating in the internet are hard to track back and verify, but it’s no longer an excuse nowadays. Online news site might post hoaxes, but newspapers nowadays also garner resources from the internet so the same mistake could be recycled over and over.
If I find interesting news, I would make sure it’s on legitimate, high-quality site and do cross-check with another website.

Dave Parrack

Cross checking is very important on the Web. It’s usually very hard to track a story back to the source though thanks to websites not always being clear where they got the story from.

You’re spot on about newspapers sourcing stories from the Web. One tweet is sometimes enough for a British newspaper to write a report. Which is bonkers and clearly just bad journalism.

Jordan Ammendolia

I use my pulse app on my iphone and my local media’s apps. tends to work best and i can control what I want to read.

Christine Satchell

The way in which the viewer can comment in real time on traditional broadcast news events through the use of social media such as Twitter is significant to me. I like this additional layer of commentary and how it transforms the passive consumer of news into an active participant in the way an event is recounted.

Dave Parrack

I agree, that interactive element is a great addition social networking sites have allowed to happen :)

Tom Spinella

News360. I can compare and contrast viewpoints from different cultures.

Jonas Platte

RSS (via Thunderbird), Google+ and sometimes newpaper

Heini Pulkkinen

Yle1 world news & Yle2 local news from TV and sometimes Sony Walkman radiochannel.

SaapeXD MoHods

FB , Twitter , Google + ( The Social Media )! XD


lol @ buzzfeed…. any govt related “story” is never vetted properly and then they never correct their incorrect reports. Buzzfeed has one goal, to be 1st to report something, regardless of accuracy. They love to push predetermined narratives.

Huffington??? Really? lol again. Majority of stories are told with liberal colored crayons, emotion first, ideology second, talking points spoon fed to them on “how” to cover the story then a small sprinkling of semi-related facts they claim prove the veracity of the story…also enjoy pushing predetermined narratives.

Do I surf these sights for news? No. I do surf them for TOPICS then conduct my own research regarding the TOPICS that interest me. Google is my bff. TOPICS can be researched to find the actual true information & relevant facts. Then, and only then, will you have the proper information to subsequently produce your own informed opinion.

Cody Lettau

There’s so many news sites out there, but most of them are filled with a bunch of crap that IS NOT relevant or valuable to me, hence wasting my time when I have to sort through all the crud.

Don’t believe me? Go to the large news sites, such as Yahoo, ABC News, Fox News, or CNN and count the articles that are actually interesting and have an impact on your life. I bet it’s tough to find 1 out of 10 articles that really matter to you.

This led me to seek a news source that only posted relevant and valuable news. I couldn’t find a site that really met my needs, so I created one called RAVNews (Relevant and Valuable News). Obviously, I use my own site as my news source, but I figured I’d share it with all of you. Would love if you took the time and checked it out at http://www.ravnews.com. Let me know what you think!