A Day in the Life of a Newsatarian.

An experiment in scheduling; I want to block out (mostly for myself) a day in the life of a Newsatarian/Journalism student. So much of my preperation for my journalism career comes from how I take in the news everyday, and how I digest it. Immersion in the culture is a must. To really look at how often I take in news and how I consume my news is to look at how I can increase my intake or improve the content I’m already taking in. Also, it might prove just how big of a NewsJunkie slash RadioJunkie I am. (Hint, HUGE).

So this summer, as I work as a marketing assistant in downtown Toronto, here’s how I’m engaging in the news even when I don’t have time to practice my reporting (or do anything else).

6:00 AM

My first alarm goes off. I reach over and struggle to turn off the alarm on my phone, while simultaneously turning on my CBC Radio One app. I tune it to whichever local CBC Radio stattion I’m nearest. During the school year it’s Ottawa Morning with Hallie Cotnam. When I’m back home, I’m all over Metro Morning with Matt Galloway. Now THAT is a solid voice to wake up to everyday.

6:10 AM

My second alarm goes off. In an attempt to actually wake up, I open up my phone and flip onto Twitter. I flip right to my News List and start scrolling through the headlines, seeing what’s up for the day, anything new, etcetera. At this point too I check my phone for CP (Canadian Press), CBC, Globe and Mail, National Post and Ottawa Citizen news updates that may have come through on my apps while I was asleep.

6:20 AM

I actually get out of this point… Usually.
I take my phone around the house with me as I get ready, listening to the news updates as they come in, and listening to people who are far more awake than I am. I like to think of it as inspiration.

7:00 AM

I leave the house to catch a train, and say goodbye to my wifi. At this point theSkimm has arrived in my inbox on my phone. Probably one of my favourite sources of news at any time of day (but especially the morning), they summarize news and conflicts in a way that is understandable, fresh, often tongue-in-cheek and just in general awesome. This also gives me -as a Canadian- a great rundown on U.S. politics and U.S. National news in a way that I can actually wrap my head around. I read this on the train on my way downtown, which usually takes about 45 minutes.

8:00 AM

At this point I’m usually in the office if not far off. Back with internet (PRAISE) I log on, check my email and set up my screen for the day; newsmap in one tab, CBC Radio One open in another, and everything else I need for work.

THROUGHOUT THE DAY AT WORK.

I tune in and out of the Radio, trying to catch as much of shows like The Current with Anna Maria Tremonti or Q with Jian Ghomeshi. As a hopeful radio producer/journalist I try to soak up as much of CBC Radio as I can. The national news service offers a wide vareity of programming that covers so many topics, and each show is produced in a unique way. If you like marketing/business or just want to hear something really cool, I highly recommend Under the Influence with Terry O’Reilly. Like technology? Spark with Nora Young features some incredible stories about science and technology. White Coat Black Art with Dr. Brian Goldman is great for the health conscious etcetera, etcetera. I highly recommend looking into CBC Radio programming, you won’t regret it.

I get daily updates on my phone from different apps and keep myself up to date on events as they unfold. Through my job and my company’s twitter account, I get  a great insight into Canadian News and Canadian Military News, particularly news releases from the Department of National Defense and the Canadian Armed Forces.

Facebook gives me plenty of updates on news as well. For lighter fare I’m a fan of Refinery29, a unique lifestyle and fashion website that I have fallen in love with. They post a ‘Things you Need to Know This Morning’ everyday which is a great roundup for a collection of news. On any given day you’ll find entertainment stories, international news events, business and commerce news, and some celebrity gossip to boot (the Snickers bar of the Newsatarian diet).

5:00 PM

By this time, I’m usually on the train home, or at least headed to it. If I haven’t used up my data for the month I flip through the news on twitter, but more often than not I just zone out and sleep. No shame.

6:00 PM

Back at home, radio is back on, and I’ll generally settle in to do some work, edit some writing, scope for scoops etcetera. I’ll generally tune into the TV news if I’m at home and have cable. Generally CBC or CTV fits the bill.

A couple of times a week I listen to a Radiolab podcast in the evening, by far one of my favourite radio shows and experiments to come out of the U.S. (which I have to admit, is far more experimental and diverse than Canadian radio). It’s a great show to listen to, to really experience what incredible radio production can do. Radio becomes a visual art if used the right way, and Radiolab uses editing and tools to the fullest.

Again, back on twitter, news, etcetera until I fall asleep. Luckily, even if I’m doing something else, breaking news will pop right up on the front of my phone and I can quickly tune in to the latest developing stories as soon as they happen. Timeliness is everything in the modern journalism and communications world, so as a student I’m working to acclimate myself to news around the clock.

And that’s a very general -and rough- day in the life of a Newsatarian slash Radio Junkie.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some work to do.

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