Musings + Essays

What Are Your Daily Reads?

By: Jen Shoop

How do you consume the news? I wish I were an old school lass who read a print paper over a bowl of Crispix every morning, but more often than not, my daily consumption of information follows a decidedly sad, millennial bent:

+In bed: check CNN headlines, skim email, and scroll through Instagram. A lot of the time, major news emerges in one shape or form through these three outlets. I’ll Google a topic if the headline captures my attention enough.

+While preparing and eating breakfast: We watch the CBS Early Morning News together, which runs from 7-8 a.m. I love Anne-Marie Green. I find a lot of the other anchors — especially the more famous ones on the 8 AM Morning News program — take themselves very seriously and enjoy interjecting their own “unimpeachable” perspectives a little too much. Anne-Marie has a lighter touch and seems more balanced. But I digress. I try to limit mini’s screen time but make a huge exception for the morning news — I think it’s important that she sees that we are dialed in to what’s going on in the world, and that we often then discuss it as a family. When mini hears the click-on of the TV in the morning, she looks at me and says, “News.”

+Throughout the day: I wish I had a more consistent approach to consuming articles, news, and thought-pieces, but the truth is that I lean on CNN news alerts, social media, my family, a text thread Mr. Magpie and I have with our best couple friends, and especially Mr. Magpie, as my curators. Mr. Magpie is a prolific Redditor and seems to always know what’s going on, even in the most disparate of circles, and so I trust him to ensure I’m up to speed. (Reddit has been described as “the front page of the Internet.”)

I have tried various email services that aggregate headlines and the like but find I eventually unsubscribe from all of them; it’s just one more thing to sift through in the morning. My friend Hitha recently started a series on Instagram where she shares 5 Smart Reads in the morning — those are often a handy springboard/digest for interesting content, and I appreciate that she presents a range of perspectives. She often features articles pertaining to her career in the pharmaceutical industry, of which I knew very little, so that’s been an interesting education.

I’m wondering if my smart Magpies have some burnings recommendations or brilliant strategies for staying plugged in on a daily basis?

Post Scripts.

+Hot pink was huge on the recent runways and then I think my heart stopped when I saw Gemma Chan in this EPIC Valentino gown at the Oscars. DEAD. A few of my favorite ways to get the look: these hot pink sandals (reminiscent of The Row), this splashy jumpsuit, these sleek mules, this Self-Portrait gown, and this fun printed shirtdress (under $100 – thank you Cynthia!)

+Hair accessories — especially clips — are big right now. I’ve featured a bunch of pieces over the past few weeks, but a handful more: these in pink, these elegant tortoise-shell ones, and these glitzy KJLs. (Or, go the bargain route as I did, with these, which have taken about 23 years to arrive. Literally ordered them in January.)

+This tiered, polka dotted dress is everything with some simple slides.

+Love this exaggerated-sleeved sweatshirt. Ah, to have a waist…

+This beaded pacifier clip is chic and genius.

+I mentioned a “toileting independence” class Mr. Magpie and I attended last week. (We crossed a threshold into serious parenthood with that one.) The instructor strongly recommended Hanna Andersson training underwear for the early days, as they’re thick/padded. Bonus: they’re cute!

+Dying over these peony-print smoking loafers!


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20 thoughts on “What Are Your Daily Reads?

  1. I really wish I could be better at staying informed… I find that so many news stories stress me out nowadays, and when something is especially tragic or anxiety-provoking, I think about it the whole dang day. I would at times listen to the NY Times The Daily podcast but have not done that in a while. But I love the ideas here from you and your readers! My 15 month old at times needs a “stroller nap” so I’ve been using this time to catch up on podcasts, particularly since my husband gifted me with AirPods recently (where have they been all my life?!). I must add NPR’s Up First to my list!

    1. Yay! I’ll be listening right along with you while walking my baby (soon to be babies) and dog. xx

  2. I puzzled over the lack of radio until I realized that most of your readers are likely city dwellers. I commute a few days a week in my car, not to mention errands, etc and NPR is ALWAYS on, which is a lot of my hard news intake. I also listen to Up First every morning while I’m getting ready. Then I spend a half an hour reading the NYT- a mix of whatever interests me. And I pop on to read updates throughout the day. I think the key is finding a medium that resonates with you and just working it into your routine. I feel out of sorts if I don’t start my day with it!

    1. Ha – yes! You are so right. I was just chatting about this with a friend — it’s harder to stay on top of music without the radio in the car, too!

      Anyway, love the Up First idea. Definitely going to be listening to this during my daily walks with Tilly to see how I like it!

      Thanks for sharing your regimen.


  3. Thank you so much for giving #5SmartReads a mention! I’m admittedly a news junkie, and I love to linger over my newsletters (and The Fashion Magpie, when I need a mental palate cleanser) and a cup of coffee once Rho is off to school.
    I read Axios’ newsletters (Mike Allan’s 6 Things, Vitals, and Futures), which do a really nice job of digesting the big issues as objectively as possible. Fortune’s The Broadsheet and Brainstorm Health are also daily reads, as is Vox’s Sentences and The Goods. I’ve deleted the Twitter app on my phone, but I do log onto the mobile browser and stumble across a few gems among the noise.
    The balance of staying informed and the news hijacking your emotional health is a delicate one today, and it’s one I’m more aware of than ever. My current system works for me – I feel like I have a good handle of what’s going on, but the news doesn’t affect me emotionally the way it did in late 2016/early 2017.

    1. These are great — had not even heard of most of these! Thanks for sharing some of your sources. Also, so happy to include you here — note that some of the gals in the in-person book club were singing the praises of your series!!


  4. It’s a surprise to me but I’ve become a podcast person! I have a fairly active commute that requires a lot of walking and a train change, so it’s much easier to hear the news than try to read it. I regularly listen to NPR’s Up First, a 15 minute cut-and-dry reporting of the news of the last 24 hours, and I also love The Daily from the NY Times, which is more of a deep dive on one timely subject.

    I’ve trimmed down my newsletter subscriptions but my favorite remains Fortune’s The Broadsheet, which covers women in business– a big umbrella that aggregates great links on so many things I care about, plus usually a female perspective on any current news that I’m very interested in. After years of subscribing, I still consistently read several of the linked stories every morning. The Broadsheet was actually how I first discovered the Theranos scandal, because they covered both the rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes religiously.

    Some of the ladies at the last book club were also recommending Hitha’s 5 smart reads so I will definitely start checking those out too!

    1. Ooh, this is interesting to me because I am always looking for 15-20 minute podcasts to listen to while walking Tilly. I’ve kind of run dry lately — I’m pretty much over Goop unless someone super titillating or interesting is on, and now that “The Dropout” is done, I’m kind of MEH on everything else. Like the idea of using that time to listen to NPR’s Up First! Good idea 🙂

      Thank you!


  5. I am impressed with you and the commenters. I do think keeping up to date is very important but I’ve had to take a different approach – it’s all been making me so angry lately that I backed off. It has helped my mental health. I do scan the Washington Post headlines daily on-line so I don’t believe I’d miss anything major but I’m consciously clicking on less (and never reading the comments!)

    1. Ooof, the comments sections on news sites are absolutely horrifying — a complete morass of the crass, the insane, and the judgmental. HATE. Will not read those sections. So I hear you!


  6. Such an interesting question! I subscribe to the New York Times, which is where I get most of my daily news from, but I also have newsletter subscriptions to the Boston Globe, the Guardian, and Le Monde (for a bit of [subjective] world perspective). I also listen to a good amount of NPR, especially in the car — typically WGBH, as that’s my local affiliate. I sometimes stream it at home via Sonos.

    I will also echo Anna in that I do get news via my Twitter feed, which I’ve tailored to be quite news-y (with a healthy sprinkling of comedians as well, haha). I don’t find my Instagram feed to be super news-centric, but I kind of like it that way. Of course, I’ve learned of a few newsy events (typically the deaths of celebrities) via Instagram!

    I also subscribe to New York magazine and The New Yorker, which I love for culture reporting, etc.

    I’m intrigued by Reddit — I go through phases of skimming through r/politics — but it’s not a regular stop of mine. And I never, ever watch TV! So interesting … my mom worked for NBC before she had children, so it was always on at home … Tom Brokaw was a fixture in my childhood memory of television. Ha! I think it’s great that you’re exposing mini to it.

    1. Love this roundup — sometimes I wish I still did subscribe because even just skimming the headlines / seeing what the title of the email is can be informative, whether I feel like I’m making use of it or not. Anyway — thanks for this!


  7. Twitter! It’s my first stop every morning. I know it gets a bad rep, but since you choose who you follow, you can curate a collection of good news sources. In addition to the regular big news outlets (NY Times, NPR, etc) I like to follow a wide variety of individuals from different backgrounds who I know always retweet good stuff, often with thought-provoking commentary. And I love the new bookmark feature, which lets you (privately) mark stuff to read later. And, of course, the good old block feature when you’ve had enough of someone…

    1. Love this! Your curation process is fascinating to me. I like the idea of listening in to a bunch of folks and then gradually whittling the list down as you figure out what kinds of content are most interesting to you — such an interesting way to think about how we approach and prioritize and evaluate different perspectives, news sources, etc. (And how we identify what is newsworthy / what is bogus / what feels heavily weighted in one political direction or another.)


  8. I love this topic! I was just chatting with a girlfriend about unsubscribing from a popular millennial daily newsletter, it wasn’t the right fit for me anymore.

    At home, I subscribe to the Washington Post digitally with Sunday print edition. I was inspired by my parents who read the paper over coffee every morning swapping sections, a little luxury I envy. When I get into the office I read a slew of Politico daily newsletters, but the standouts are Playbook (as a DC girl), Illinois Playbook (I work for a Chicago based company) and Axios AM- which I suggest you try.

    As with a fellow commentator, I listen to the daily WSJ podcast while getting ready or on my commute and sometime the The Daily by the NYT depending on the topic. I would also suggest The High Low podcast, but I have a feeling you are already well aware of Dolly and Pandora!

    1. I am not familiar with that podcast, so thanks for the rec! Also love the idea of your parents swapping sections of the paper over coffee every morning. Relationship goals.


  9. I subscribe to the Wall Street Journal (digitally, no paper reading over Crispex lol), and since I don’t have cable, I typically listen to their daily podcasts or the world news podcast from the BBC while getting ready in the morning. I stopped watching most of the morning shows (although I do like Kathy Lee and Hoda when I have a day off, ha!), but will definitely check out CBS Early Morning – great recommendation!

    LOVED Gemma Chan at the Oscars, and the thought of donning some hot pink this spring! I am also super excited about the barrette trend and may order a couple of your picks to try – most I have seen elsewhere seem way too big. xo

    1. WSJ is the goal. One day I’ll get there. Right now, I feel like I’d pay (and it is not cheap, as you know!) and then not use it enough. Maybe in my retirement years…or maybe I’ll just set a new year’s resolution one year to make time for it. That’d be a good one!

      Gemma Chan!! SO CHIC. And YES to barrettes!!! Wearing mine today!


  10. Such an interesting question, Jen! I can’t resist. I’m a news junkie and feel a very strong sense of duty in being informed. I also worked for a major Australian newspaper for a couple of years, and (not surprisingly) felt much more dialled in then – dozens of screens and journalists dissecting the news of the minute has that effect. However, now that I work in advertising, not news publishing, my news consumption hasn’t actually changed all that much. I still do a morning sweep of a couple of news websites, check Instagram, and usually my boyfriend will roll over in the morning to discuss what he’s read as we frequent different news sites (mine interestingly more political/business focused, his more general news and sports). We also have a news and current affairs program playing in the house while we’re getting ready in the morning too. If there’s something I’m particularly interested in, I’ll click around a few news sites to read different perspectives. And I do tend to use Facebook as a news and content aggregator – my feed is less updates from friends, more links to articles from newspapers and current affairs sites. I’ve curated my feed in this way over time and it’s now the primary purpose of Facebook for me.

    1. Hi! This is such an interesting note about how you use FB; someone else mentioned something similar about Twitter. I hadn’t thought about curating a channel like that specifically for news consumption, but it’s so smart! Love this. Also love your interactions with your boyfriend, which sound similar to mine with Mr. Magpie; I lean on him to help me cover all my bases. Another benefit to dating/marrying someone different from you!


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