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Keeping Up To Date from Paris

by John on 01/07/2015

The brutal attack this morning in Paris greeted many Americans as they woke up causing a dilemma. We want to follow the story but we also have jobs and families.

Here’s how to stay up to date within your daily routine.

  • You don’t need TV anymore. Use your smart phone. My Wall Street Journal app on my iPhone broke the news to me about ten minutes before cable news had it. (Wall Street Journal requires a subscription.) But you can get the BBC, CNN and The Associated Press (AP) apps for free.
  • If TV remains your go-to device, then the best choice this morning was Fox News because of its connection to Sky News in Europe. Again, breaking news like this kind of ignores media bias most of the time. CNN, Fox, MSNBC generally do about the same for breaking news. Sure, someone may throw out a political shot, but you’re smart enough to negate it since you’re searching for real news. Another big deal for the networks is who broke it first. Frankly, no one cares — which brings us to another point.
  • Use your news filters. Remember, what’s reported might not have happened. Breaking news is tricky and usually inaccurately reported in the first minutes. Don’t nail any network or reporter for inaccurate accounts – unless there is a deliberate motive to misinform. Most network reports will couch what they say with “allegedly”, “apparently”, “what we’re hearing from officials.” That’s fine.
  • My TV News trick this morning: Fox News on — but no sound. If something broke, the on-screen graphics would alert me to turn up the volume. Overall, TV news is still pretty good for breaking news or at least getting the word out about danger. The big benefit has always been immediacy. Mobile is now challenging that.
  • To keep up as the morning continues, as you are on your way to work, you need Twitter. (Hopefully, you are also following credible websites in addition to that creepy person with the funny tweets you find attractive from a distance.) Once The Wall Street Journal — @WSJ — broke the news, I kept watching their tweets. The BBC — @BBCbreaking – was another go-to with a lot more correspondents in Europe and Paris. NBC News’ Richard Engel — @RichardEngel – is a good source of what is happening in the Arab world. The New York Times — @nytimes – always a good stand-by for breaking news. For a Middle East perspective Al Jazeera America — @ajam.
  • Once the day moves on and you want more analysis, I suggest Stratfor. You will need a subscription. This is a great site for business planning – especially if you work, market, or travel overseas. Stratfor offers intelligence with a geopolitical slant that can help your business but also keep you safe.

Any other suggestions, let me know.

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