How I Stay Informed

Blogger.com has done a great service for us by making blogging pretty easy. Almost "Blogging For Dummies" (yes, the book has been written: http://www.amazon.com/Blogging-Dummies-Computer-Tech/dp/0471770841/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/002-8271523-2379241?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1175356720&sr=8-1). One feature I thought interesting was "favorite movies" and "favorite music." It's good to get a read on the blogger by seeing their interests and pop-culture preferences, and then have that context to evaluate the posting.

I thought I'd share my favorite magazines and periodicals.

Newsmagazine: "The Economist" - when I can afford it. When I first heard of it, I thought it was a egg-headed periodical dedicated to the arcane world of economics. While the magazine (they call themselves a "newspaper" - must be a Brit thing) does cover economics, it is a general news mag. The things I like about The Economist are several:
  1. The perspective is broader than the typical "Time," "Newsweek," or "U.S. News & World Report." The Economist writes for people that aren't in the United States. As shallow as that is about me, I appreciate difference in perspective.
  2. The articles are uniformly very well written. There is a craftsmanship to journalism and my take is that they do that well.
  3. The editorial perspective: while socially liberal (not my cup of tea), they are economically conservative. At the same time they raz on Libertarians, they actually espouse what Libertarians want to be when they grow up. I get a refreshing dose of economic policy common sense that is both intelectually rigourous and humanely thoughtful. The Economist is a reliable source of world news.

Christian Development: I enjoy "Leadership" magazine. It speaks to my heart and mind about the stakes and blessings of Christian ministry. It is a rare priveledge to be able to serve Followers of Jesus in what we call "ministry." This magazine helps me appreciate that priveledge more. I resonate with the editorial heart of "Leadership," as well as its grounded pragmatism and innovation. I'm always challenged by every issue in my own heart, skills, and vision for ministry.

Cultural Engagement: I subscribe to an audio magazine, "Mars Hill Audio Journal." Once every two months, I get a CD of six to eight interviews with intellectual leaders speaking on Christianity's engagement with culture. Ken Meyers, formerly with National Public Radio, interviews authors on a variety of topics such as marketing to adolescents, C.S. Lewis, architecture, the Tolkien film trilogy, Muslim engagement with the non-Muslim world, poetry and literature, the nature of beauty in art, politics, et al. Meyers is a remarkable interviewer: well researched, engaged with his interviewees, and quite a mind himself.

As to pop-culture, I really enjoy the Relevant podcast: http://www.relevantmagazine.com/podcast.php . Christian perspective, very funny, and - well - I like it.

For general news, I usually get the headlines off of my Yahoo portal page. If the treatment isn't complete, then I can go deeper. Personally, I have taken a "short-term news fast:" I stay away from daily newspapers, T.V. news, and most local news. I find that several of my friends (who are news junkies) are the best source of keeping me informed with what's important: they act as my filters. In this "daily news fast," I find that my understanding of news events is more "trend" focused and helps me integrate the atomized events that are brought to my attention.

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