How to consume news effectively and mindfully

PressPad editor Amber Sunner gives her top tips on consuming news effectively and mindfully.

The past year hasn't been great for the news. With Covid taking a stronghold of the nation and over the ocean seeing a riot on the US Capitol, the term slow news day seems to have gone out of the window. The news is often fast and sharp - there's rarely any sugar-coating so I often brace myself before I read any article. Without getting too bleak it seems there is a harsh reality to the news which we have to accept. Here are some tips that I try to follow to help me to consume news mindfully and effectively. 

Be mindful of your screentime

This is something that I have actively been trying to implement into my days - since Apple had the nifty idea of notifying me of the number of hours I have spent scrolling on my phone. The news can be - and is recently - heavier. Some of the headlines I have read over the past year have made my heart sink and my stomach drop.  

It's ok to take time out from the news

I promise that big breaking story on BBC News will still be there if you do. If you need a breather you should feel able to take one. So please don't think the news never sleeps and neither shall I. Trust me - we all need a break from time to time. 

Be sure what you're actually reading is the news

This is really important for consuming news both effectively and mindfully. In order to consume news, it must be news first. I do this by referencing articles against reputable organisations and see if and how they are covering the story. Some headlines can be hammed up to increase engagement so always read the story before you share it. 

Try to consume positive news 

The news can be a scary place - especially during these "unprecedented" (really sorry for using that awful word) times. So where better to consume positive news than Positive News! Filtering out some of the bad news with a lighter news source may make you feel a little bit better after you've put your device down. 

What I do:

As an editor at PressPad, I have to stay up-to-date with the news. Also, my degree is in journalism which also provides me with another reason to be timely and switched on. But I consume news at certain times of the day. In the morning I sometimes listen to the radio or if I fancy something a bit slower I flick through the BBC or Guardian app for a catch-up. On other days I refain from reading anything at all. It depends on my mood - my second tip in action. I then try to catch up in the evenings by either watching BBC News at Six or another scroll on my phone. In between hard news I also LOVE reading what my amazing Twitter timeline is writing. Journo Twitter is honestly one of the best places on the Internet - I highly recommend it - maybe even give me a cheeky follow! 

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