By Bianca Chan
No one has to tell me that reading, watching or listening to the news is not the most amusing form of entertainment. To be honest, I’m in journalism school and I only started keeping up with the news in my second year (I apologize to any journalism professors reading this).
However, I won’t be the first to tell you that staying news literate is extremely important, not only for being culturally and socially competent in everyday conversations, but also academically – for essays, assignments and school in general. Trust me when I say that professors love anything to do with current events.
But I get it – it can feel pretty inaccessible for students who don’t pay for newspaper subscriptions, for those who don’t have cable, and especially for those who honestly don’t have the mental capacity after a long day of studying to look up the news.
Luckily for us, there are plenty of user-friendly apps that make it vastly more enjoyable to digest local, national and international news.
Here is my guide to some news apps that you should try; they are all a little different and suit different people. Try ‘em out, delete the ones you don’t like and keep the ones you do. You can thank me later!
Flipboard: Your social news magazine
Flipboard is perfect for those of you just dipping your toe into the deep waters of news. Used by millions of people everyday, it is a place to keep all the topics and news you care about in one, easy-to-use application. Plus, it is great for those who have short attention spans because you – literally – flip through headlines and pictures. It’s pretty much an adult picture book on your phone.
The Ottawa Citizen: Your local news outlet
The Ottawa Citizen news app is great for getting your local news fix. It has a strong Ottawa-based focus, with a “local news matters” attitude, but also serves up your important national and international go-to news. Whether or not you’re in Ottawa, Carleton University is and your professors most likely are. Plus, it is useful to know what’s happening in the nation’s capital.
Global Go: Your broadcast journalism on-the-go
Global Go is a video app for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch users that serves up full-length episodes and clips of popular Global shows. Most importantly, the app offers up a live stream of the closest Global TV station, with most TV service providers. Also, the new user interface includes content filters which make personalization a priority.
Twitter: Your “to-the-point” news source
If you’re a Millennial, odds are you have Twitter. If not, you should get it and follow your favourite journalists, news outlets, local voices, favourite actors, comedians…the list goes on. The point is, people love being vocal on Twitter, which is good for a daily dose of embarrassing and rant-y tweets. But because people also live-tweet so often, it’s also great for quick updates on news, events, protests – you name it.
Timeline: Your backgrounder source
Staying up to date with current events is one thing, knowing the context and background information is another story. Timeline offers up several trending news stories through a visually stunning interface, layering up contextual information on the events leading up to said-event. “Whether it’s the timeline of a conflict in a war-torn nation or the fascinating tradition behind a popular holiday recipe, it’s a wonderfully intelligent way of getting the story beyond the headlines,” reads the Apple App Store’s Editors’ notes.
The New Yorker: Your commentary, opinion, culture news source
The New Yorker is the iconic national weekly magazine out of New York. It features only the best writers of its time and has received more National Magazine Awards than any other magazine for ground breaking reportage. It offers up a legendary menu of reporting, commentary, culture, business, technology, comedy and satire, fiction, and poetry. Plus, anyone who reads the New Yorker automatically earns five points in anyone’s book.