The infinite world of news: sharing my informative diet


Hello to all members from Deep Dives community. I would like to tell you first that finding this repository in Hive has been very interesting for me, as it corresponds to my goals as a researcher and content creator.

I had promised —from my presentation— to talk about how I have built my own information ecosystem in order to satiate my news appetite, and I have chosen this community to host the publication in which I settle that debt. In it, I provide its followers —and the blockchain in general— with some recommendations and tools for accessing news content.

My interest in news

I am a tireless follower of news. For me it is a hobby to travel the world through cables from information agencies and reports from prestigious media. Yes, it is true that it has become increasingly difficult to feel safe when we find some content on the net, but I still think it is possible to ensure a productive experience in that sense.

Although I live in Cuba, my primary news interests are more international. Nevertheless, I am always aware of what is most important and urgent happening in (or in relation to) my country, through a monitoring strategy of my own that I may share at another time in the Hive Cuba community.

Since 2013 I have been working on collecting and accessing serious and stable information sources on a daily basis, and the following is my current "diet": Twitter, press agencies and relevant media.



I will not assess the current drift of this powerful social network, where I landed more than twelve years ago. My informative journey may or may not start there, but it is essential for me to review my timeline and thematic lists at different moments every day. I have carefully selected each account I follow, favoring those managed by journalists and recognized English or Spanish-speaking media —most of them verified the old-fashioned way—.

The series "House of Cards" awakened in me a permanent curiosity for the political development in the United States. In that line I built two lists (one for correspondents based in Congress, and another that includes journalists based in the White House and the State Department, and the main media of that country) to which anyone can appeal to follow minute by minute what happens in Washington and the world.

But there is so much information circulating that Twitter can overwhelm you. And that can lead us to miss some valuable content, especially if the list of users we follow is extensive. However, you can always indicate a more select group of accounts so that Twitter notifies you when they tweet.


News agencies

There is consensus that the French agency L'Agence Havas, founded between 1825 and 1835 by Charles-Lewis Havas, and which formed the basis of the today recognized Agence France-Presse (AFP), was the first international news agency in the world. This is what Christopher H. Sterling reports in the monumental work The SAGE Encyclopedia of Journalism (Second Edition), published in 2022 under the editorship of Gregory A. Borchard. By 1840, using carrier pigeons, the agency was able to send and receive news between London, Brussels and Paris.

A lot has happened since then —practically two centuries—. Today, after years of technological evolution, content syndication is a much simpler operation. According to William A. Hanff Jr., syndication —defined as the distribution of content created by one or more press organizations through others— is the basis on which news aggregators operate. The latter are solutions that mix software, algorithms and journalistic practices —usually through the production of RSS feeds— to allow writers, editors and audiences to collect news as they are published by different providers, and to customize the organization of that information.

Oliver Boyd-Barrett points in his entry for the referred encyclopedia that Thomson Reuters (Reuters), Associated Press (AP), and AFP are, in that order, the three main news agencies in the world. According to this author, Spain´s EFE is often ranked fourth on the list. Lucinda D. Davenport states that these agencies are responsible for producing 90% of the news that are published internationally in newspapers, although I believe she still erroneously includes United Press International as part of the "Big Four".


How I get access to the agencies newswire service

My base repository is the news aggregator provided by the MailOnline website. It is a service that updates the cables produced by reporters from AP, Reuters, AFP, PA Media and the Australian Associated Press. In the web version for laptops and desktop computers, it is possible to filter the agencies we want to monitor, but not in the one available for mobile devices.

According to my experience, this is a very reliable way to be updated almost in real time with the contents of AP, Reuters and AFP. I don´t total the expression because I have noticed that some cables take a long time to appear, though very few are not republished. And this alternative not only centralizes the news production of the three most prestigious wire agencies, but also doesn´t limit the visualization according to the usual criteria in this field, such as the number of articles read.

Screenshot from MailOnline mobile web version

Both AP and Reuters maintain independent mobile applications that allow access to their exclusive content, but this isn´t the case for AFP or EFE. Below you can see two screenshots of these applications taken from my cell phone. I advise that in both cases we register as users, so that we can customize our experience.

Screenshot from AP mobile app.

Screenshot from Reuters mobile app.

For Spanish speakers, I propose the following solutions to consume content translated or sometimes originally produced in our tongue by these agencies: the Spanish versions of The San Diego Tribune and, and the Argentinean media Infobae and La Nación, act as news aggregators —in the aforementioned language— provided by AP, Reuters, EFE and AFP.


Monitoring relevant media and topics

Outside the agencies, I also review media whose journalism is based on years of experience in the market. Of course, I take into account the discretionality and the invisible skein of political, economic and other interests that permeate news production. That´s why I always privilege the "just the facts" approach when interpreting the reports I read.

However, without ignoring the problem of news bias —it is rather a matter of managing it—, I immerse myself in the front pages and articles of the popular New York Times, Washington Post, The Guardian, Wall Street Journal (WSJ), or El País —for Spanish-speaking readers in the latter case—. I also follow the contents of Politico for updates on the United States, or Bloomberg —together with the specialized Reuters, Forbes, the WSJ or the Financial Times— to learn about the latest financial trends and the global market.

In my case, from Cuba, I have needed to evade the limits and restrictions that the weak domestic economy, but also comprehensive US sanctions, have meant for the natural consumption of sites that promote paid or premium content —one of the many dimensions in which both realities affect—.

I understand that the latter is not an exclusive Cuban problem. So the alternatives I use to break paywalls —not linked to the use of VPN— may be useful for others. I don´t promote them explicitly now so as not to incur in any fault related to ethical or legal principles in copyright matters —and thus damage Hive's position on them—, but I can share in the comments section or privately on the subject.

Hive as a source?

I have been here for a short time, and it is very likely that there are still communities or users that I don't know, and whose focus is oriented to long-form analysis about the economic and political reality on a global and regional scale. I think, in principle, that this is a path in which Hive still has some way to go, and much more if it refers to Spanish production.

In the monitoring of finance matters associated with cryptocurrencies, the LeoFinance universe —and within it specific informative projects such as @thedailyleo— offers in my opinion the greatest opportunities for this, although others may be born that take the baton and dedicate themselves to a more detailed analysis of these and other important developments for society and our own blockchain. As I projected in a previous post, I presume that one day Hive will create its news media, contributing to close the integral life cycle of the community in its ecosystem.

Wishing you a happy 2023, and thanking you for the patient reading, I close this post hoping it has been useful, and look forward to your comments.

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