Where do you get news?

Over on my other blog, The Switchel Traveler, I have been posting about the COVID-19 pandemic currently raging in the world. (Click here for all posts on that blog about that topic.)

My question for this post: Where do you get news about the pandemic? Please share your thoughts in the comments if you are comfortable doing so.

I have asked this question before on this blog (in general, not about any specific topic). See this 2017 post and the comments. In that post I wrote:

Much of the news these days – even from some of the sources listed above – seems to be unnecessarily negative.

How true that is now! Much of the news about the COVID-19 pandemic is relentlessly negative. Yes, the pandemic is deadly serious. I have noted on my other blog that “these are unprecedented times,” that in our household we are “hunkering down,” and that collectively we need to “slow the spread.” But I do wonder if the news is giving us a balanced perspective on all aspects of the pandemic.

Let’s collectively think about how we inform ourselves about reality, an appropriately ironic topic on April Fools Day.

Personally I consume almost no radio or TV news. I am a reader. I have long subscribed to three newspapers – Burlington Free Press, New York Times, Wall Street Journal – and I also read VTDigger. I admit that I no longer read the Burlington Free Press regularly because over time it has included less and less of interest to me. My family continues to read it and they let me know if there is anything in it that I should read.

All of that is online. We no longer receive any paper newspapers except the News & Citizen, a wonderful local newspaper that is mailed free of charge to everyone in a handful of towns in our area, and which I read faithfully. See the photo above. This newspaper is generally apolitical, and I love it.

Recently, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I subscribed to a new online newspaper: The Epoch Times. I don’t know much about this newspaper. It was founded in 2000 by a group of Chinese-Americans associated with the Falun Gong spiritual movement. That’s unusual, but I have not noticed any spiritual preachiness in their reporting. I am intrigued by the Chinese-American connection, since China is part of the COVID-19 story.

I have noticed that the folks at The Epoch Times are not fans of the current Chinese government. They seem to like the style of government envisioned by the founders of the United States of America. I like that style of government, too.

The Epoch Times is more supportive of President Trump than my other newspapers, so I will read their reporting skeptically. Coincidentally, like the NYT and the WSJ, The Epoch Times is headquartered in New York City, the current center of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States and the home of President Trump. (It was his original home, until his recent move to Florida.) Perhaps these three newspapers together – NYT and WSJ and TET – will provide a balanced perspective on the pandemic.

It’s OK to take a break from the news, too. Is the news getting you down? Consider taking a walk outside. If you do, be sure to follow the advice on the marquee below: keep 2 meters apart from other people and wash your hands when you return home.

(“On the Bijou Theater marquee in Morrisville, the spaces where films are normally advertised have a different message this week: Do what you’re supposed to in the coronavirus crisis.” Photo by Tommy Gardner. From the News & Citizen, March 26, 2020, page 7. Online here. Used with permission.)

A walk helps us connect with reality in our neighborhood. The news helps us connect with reality in the rest of the world. It’s a big world outside of our heads. How do you inform yourself about reality?

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5 Responses to Where do you get news?

  1. Kevin C. Whitcavitch says:

    Well George I do err on the side of caution, I do not allow this current situation to rule my life. I think about today when I was over visiting a vet bud of mine and this man a few years my senior showed up and my bud introduced me to him and he stuck out his hand, I gladly shook it..
    I do not have a fear of this virus, I believe I have already lived through much worst situations, HOORAH!


    • In war one tries to neutralize many threats: the opposing military, disease, stupid accidents, fear. Yes, you have lived through many bad situations. We are in another war now. I’ve heard this time described as “our Dunkirk moment.” How do we neutralize the threat of this tiny coronavirus? Glitter. Think of it as glitter. It sticks to everything. Three aspects unlike normal glitter: it floats in the air for a time, it is destroyed by soap, and outside the body it decays over time. This video explains: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjDuwc9KBps. I linked to that video on my other blog. Recommended. Kevin, thank you for your service. My best to you and Thea.


  2. Washington Post and Twitter (right, left, and center feeds). I will check out The Epoch Times.


    • Thank you for your comment, and welcome! I’m not on Twitter. I hear it is popular with politicians. That’s reason enough to avoid the entire platform. I don’t subscribe to the Washington Post, but they have a columnist that I used to follow before she moved behind their paywall – Megan McArdle. She was the first blogger that I ever followed, back in the early days after 9/11, when she worked for a construction firm doing cleanup at the World Trade Center and blogged under the pen name “Jane Galt.” BTW I like your blog, which I discovered as a result of your comment. Thank you for helping to keep local government in Vermont accountable and strong.


    • I have started a digital subscription to the Washington Post.


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