Getting legitimate news these days can be a task and a half. One of my favorite ways to consume important stories is through my friend Hitha’s 5 Smart Reads newsletter (and corresponding Instagram stories). She spends a lot of time pulling articles on interesting topics and I end up reading at least one or two every day.
Hitha and I have been friends since our early blogging days 10 years ago when she used to travel the world for her job and write a travel blog. Since then she’s become insanely successful as an author, investor, and entrepreneur. I’m so thrilled that she agreed to write a post for you guys today!
She’s the creator of #5SmartReads, the CEO of Rhoshan Pharmaceuticals, and an investor in early-stage startups. Her second book We’re Speaking: The Life Lessons Of Kamala Harris, will be published this October. She lives in New York City with her husband and two sons. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter.
I am a news nerd.
I have been since I was a kid when I’d watch the nightly news with my parents before we sat down to dinner. I would flip through the newspaper while eating my cereal in the morning. And being on the speech & debate team in high school meant I had to stay on top of what was happening in the country and the world for my extemporaneous speaking events.
Okay. I was just a nerd. Still am.
Creating #5SmartReads – my daily news curation of underreported stories and underrepresented perspectives – is my way of sharing my love for current events and brilliantly written pieces with you. But I encourage you to take your daily news reading a step beyond my #5SmartReads or The Skimm and build your own news reading habit.
Here are some of my tips for consuming the news:
Start small – begin with one additional newsletter that you commit to reading a few times a week. Volv is a fantastic news app that offers 8-second summaries of the most pressing news stories, reported objectively. Axios offers newsletters on a variety of topics (Mike Allen’s is general news focused on the United States, Vitals is healthcare, Generate is focused on energy news, Future on the…well, future). And because I’m more liberal in my views, I actively seek out conservative perspectives to understand other perspectives. The Dispatch is an excellent conservative-leaning news outlet that I prioritize reading every day.
Pick an issue to learn more about – I stay on top of healthcare news since that’s the industry I work in, but I’m interested in infrastructure and energy advancements, transgender policy and perspectives, and foreign policy. Start with one subject you don’t know much about but would like to, and commit to learning more with either a new podcast, newsletter, or a book. Whatever works for you! This is also the advice I offer when people ask how to stay involved with politics between elections. What happens at the local and state level will affect your day-to-day lives more than Congress or executive offers, generally speaking. This brings me to my next tip…
Invest in your local news – The best way to stay on top of local news is through local newspapers, which are sadly facing massive cuts and many have shut down. Subscribing to your local paper – digitally or physically – is the best way of getting a handle on what’s happening in your community, and it’s a wonderful way to model a news reading habit for your family. Some of my favorite memories as a kid were asking my father about a story I read in the paper on our way to school, and him explaining it to me clearly (but in an age-appropriate manner). My older son Rho does the same now over The New York Daily News and The Philadelphia Inquirer (a paper I’ve maintained my subscription to, even though I no longer live in Philadelphia).
And if you’re just starting out, just start with #5SmartReads. I created this series to make the news less overwhelming. You can follow me on Instagram, where I share them on my Stories every weekday morning. But if logging onto Instagram every morning isn’t your thing, you can take advantage of a special Lemon Stripes offer and have #5SmartReads delivered to your inbox every weekday morning for 14 days (the subscription is usually $5/month or $50/year). You can take advantage of the offer via this link.