It may have taken longer than my mother had hoped for, but at long last I’m an NPR convert. An addict, really. When I first arrived in Los Angeles, my favorite way to spend time stuck in traffic was listening to A. Martinez and Alex Cohen on their show Take Two. It’s an engaging news program during which the hosts conduct a slew of interviews, regarding everything from new avant garde music to current events.
For someone without cable television, listening to NPR was a great way for me to stay connected and informed. Increasingly though, I realized that whenever I’d bring up world events in conversation (bourgeois, I know), people would give me blank stares. I seemed to be one of the first people at work or among friends that knew about things like the annexation of Crimea over the summer. On the flip side, I was always the last person to know about breaking entertainment news, or new music.
A week or so ago, I started following the Writer’s Guild Foundation on Facebook, and through that found a Q&A session with Simon Kinberg, the producer of such movies as X-Men: Days of Future Past. I immediately booked a seat. It was the first such event I’d been to outside of a school setting, and it was fantastic. I learned so much about his writing process, what he’ll be up to next, etc. I loved being back and immersed in the writing world.
This event reminded me that it’s important to stay connected and informed, but not just about world politics and the like. It serves anyone well to keep on track of current events in whatever they’re passionate about. NPR not for you? There are tons of way to keep up with your favorite organizations, news sites, and breaking stories whether they cover fashion, movies, new novels, or the latest in fly fishing. The more you know, the more informed your perspective on the world will be. Learning about how others are living, even someone right down the street, teaches us about how we can help our communities, no matter what form they may take.
It’s important to remember, though, that not all news is unbiased. Always keep an open mind to both sides of every story and be wary about anything that might have an ulterior motive behind its publishing.
To get started, I challenge you to check out the Huffington Post and the New York Times. Looking for something more entertainment based? Hollywood Deadline and even Buzzfeed are chock full of information. For all sorts of news, stop by The Daily Beast – they have a cheat sheet for all you busybodies. Have even less time in your day? Subscribe to The Daily Skimm; a simplified list of all the top news stories for the day is sent straight to your inbox every morning. Don’t forget to follow your favorite organizations/people on Twitter and Facebook! And if all else fails, NPR will always have your back.