Many of us make New Year’s resolutions, though sometimes I think the pressure to do so can be overwhelming. When it comes to your business, though, it’s wise to think about things you can do better or more efficiently in the year ahead – no matter when you decide to start that year.
Since this blog is all about news, you know we’re going to look at how you can make your news feed more relevant – and more important – than before.
Take this suggestion for what it’s meant to do – improve your business through improving your news consumption. (By improving here, I mean keeping it filled with news that’s important to you, what you’re trying to accomplish and where you’re headed.) Make a resolution to periodically refresh your go-to sources.
You probably have a list of sources or sites that you check on a routine basis. If your primary go-to sources are established such as the Associated Press or New York Times, there’s a solid expectation that these sources – which have been around for decades – are going to continue delivering the news you expect from them. But are you missing anything important?
Chances are there are other outlets of information worth checking out. So what are the new and emerging sources for content? Here’s where social media steps in. What outlets are your friends and colleagues talking about? What sources are they linking to regularly?
When it comes to evaluating these new sources for inclusion in your daily routine, there are a few things you can look at.
Let’s start with impartiality. It’s no secret these days that certain news outlets have an obvious right-leaning stance, just as nobody is surprised that others lean to the left. The issue of media bias is one for another post, but it’s important to be aware of a source’s bias when you evaluate its usefulness for your purposes.
Reliability is another important aspect to take into account when evaluating a news source. In one respect, this is relatively simple, but it can also be quite complex. If you look at a news website and it’s filled with broken links and misspelled words, there’s a pretty solid chance that their reporting isn’t going to measure up to your standards. There are other telltale signs. How old are the articles? Does the source have many followers? How big is their footprint – are they on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.
In the modern world of the 24-hour news cycle, reliability has another aspect to it. If the source you’re looking at only publishes articles sporadically for a few hours a day, or once a week, you’ll need to take that into account. A sporadic publication schedule shouldn’t necessarily discount using that source, but content freshness is another thing to keep in mind.
Mobile devices – smartphones and tablets – are becoming more prominent and penetrating deeper into our society than ever, so a source’s mobile friendliness has to be taken into account as well. Luckily, there are dozens of news apps out there, most of them free, and there are even several that will pull data from Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets. Evaluating the utility of these apps can be a little more daunting, as most of the popular mainstream ones tend to mix your personal feeds with news items, blurring the line between private and public.
No matter how many sources you add or remove or for what reasons, it’s a good idea to make it one of your New Year’s resolutions to periodically review your sources. Doing so will keep your information at its freshest and most up-to-date.