Anna Burgess Yang

Tinkering With Ideas #034: How you read the news

Published about 2 months ago • 2 min read

Hello, fellow tinkerer 👋 -

Sometimes I read a story that's just so amazing that I simply must share it with everyone.

This week, that was the story of a 93-year-old woman who made a $1 billion donation to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. The donation will make tuition free for students, with the goal of attracting "talented and diverse" students who otherwise might not have the opportunity to pursue a medical education.

What an incredible gift.

1) Reflection:

I listened to an episode of Hard Fork recently (one of my favorite podcasts) and the topic was the "mediapocalypse" currently happening in the U.S. There have been several high-profile layoffs at major media companies, including the L.A. Times, Sports Illustrated, and Vice.

The episode talks about how much the media landscape has changed, especially with how media outlets earn money through advertising. The speculation from the two hosts of the show (both journalists) is that large media companies like the New York Times will be ok, and small, independent publications are on the rise, but mid-sized publications are being squeezed the most.

As someone who is growing my own audience and reads a lot of independent journalism through Substack and Ghost, this episode was fascinating. I learned some things I didn't know about what has caused these revenue crises at publications.

2) Product:

Like everyone, I'll be scrolling through my feed, see an article, and don't have time to read it right that minute. Sure, you could bookmark it, but then you end up with bookmarks all over the place.

I use an app called Pocket to save things I want to come back to later. It works for any URL, including something like a LinkedIn post. You can even add categories (if you want) to keep your links organized.

3) Tip:

Speaking of scrolling, in another podcast, the guests talked about the "infinity pools" that absorb our attention — anything with a feed and infinite amounts of new content.

I used to rely on Twitter as a centralized news feed, following outlets I liked. I've abandoned that platform. Threads isn't a good substitute (yet), so I installed Google News on my phone.

But I realized that the app on my phone is an infinity pool. Do I need to see the news right this minute? Not really. If it's groundbreaking, it will find me.

The podcast guests encouraged people to find ways to limit the distractions of infinity pools, whether it's removing an app from your phone or limiting your time in some other way. {Deletes Google News app from phone}

That's it for this issue of Tinkering! See you again in two weeks.


LinkedIn | Threads | Medium | Substack

Want more ideas?

What would you say to the younger version of you?

How to add items to your to-do list with Alexa voice commands

My favorite independent publication is Platformer, from one of the co-hosts of one of the Hard Fork podcast. Check it out.

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Anna Burgess Yang

Writer. Productivity geek. Always tinkering.

I share tips, tools, and resources to make your daily life a bit easier.

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