Do you have a regular news-consumption routine? Facebook doesn’t want you to leave Facebook, so it’s algorithm favors posts that will keep you on Facebook, rather than links that will send you elsewhere.
I listen to a 5-minute podcast from NPR News Now about once a day, usually while I am doing my morning exercises. NPR leans left; it’s also great radio. Listening to a podcast curated by a human being means I’m likely to hear stories I wouldn’t ordinarily search for or click on.
I also check in with The Drudge Report, which leans right; it doesn’t offer much original content, but it pioneered online news aggregation and funnels a lot of traffic, which can often drive the day’s online debates.
My main source of news is news.google.com, which presents headlines from news sites around the nation and around the world. When there’s a breaking story, it will present links to many different sources. I like seeing how US stories appear to journalists in the UK, or the Arab world. I just noticed Google News has added a “Fact Check” sidebar.
I rarely visit newspaper front pages, and I only watch TV news when I teach a TV news critique lesson in my journalism class, but I’ve told Google News to show me regional stories, so I get a steady stream from multiple sources when I click the “local” tab.
Google also shows stories based on my web browsing history, so I see a lot of items about using technology to teach, theatre in New York, Star Trek, computer games, and whatever else I’ve been reading about. I am perfectly happy to let Google feed me news stories that reflect my recent web browsing, but I don’t look at those personalized stories first. The point of getting the news is to learn something you don’t know, rather than getting a stream of content carefully designed to cater to your values.
After being burned too many times by clickbait, I’ve told Google not to show me any stories from low-value clickbait sites like Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, and Upproxx. And when I got really pissed off that Newsweek took over my browser (with loud, disruptive auto-playing media) I permanently blocked my computer from accessing Newsweek.