Half Century of Crossing Generations
Helping Elders in Two Good Ways

Media Consumption Diet Meme

Generally, I don’t like blog memes, but this one caught my fancy. Web Teacher Virginia Debolt called my attention to the Media Consumption Diet Meme which she found at Web Strategy by Jeremiah (Owyang). He describes it thusly:

“I’m hoping to start this meme, that others will join in and share their media consumption diet, in hopes, that we’ll start to learn how they get information or be entertained. I’ve sort of mixed up mediums, and media types, but after some thought, that’s the best way to organize it.”

Since I was a kid – long before the internet, before television and even before the term “media” was in use – I was a news junkie. It’s not just information about what goes on the world I’m after, but a sense of the zeitgeist, of what the culture concerns itself with.

I often wonder now how I got through life before the web. I have a couple dozen Google News Alerts that drop into my mailbox each day covering many topics related to aging to keep up with what’s new for this blog, and some personal interests. Those take me to a wide variety of news sources, websites and blogs every day.

I also subscribe to a few major newspapers’ email headline services: The New York Times, the Washington Post, the GuardianUK, al-Jazeera, BBC, Sydney Morning Herald and some others. These are important because they are what political leaders around the world read.

Additional email feeds come from alternet, truthdig, tompaine, mediasavvy, several Pew Research feeds, Poynter, Buzzflash, my local paper in Portland, Maine and about a dozen other news and aging sources. Norm Jenson’s onegoodmove is essential to keep me up on the best leftie political stories from varieties of sources along with video clips of Jon Stewart, Colbert, Bill Maher, etc. so I don’t need to remember to watch their TV shows.

There was a time I visited every blog on the Elder Blogroll every day. The list is too long for that now, so I visit a few a day, work my way to the bottom and then start over again.

When I have time, one of my favorite news “games” is to follow a story in a dozen or so newspapers around the world for different perspectives.

I have long transferred all my music to my computer – about 8,000 tunes and albums. I’ve worked with many young web jockies who are plugged into their iPods all day, but I can’t concentrate when music is playing. Most often, I listen in the evenings with headphones so I can pump up the volume without bothering the neighbors. My excellent computer speakers take over to keep me moving when the house needs cleaning. I also listen to NPR and other radio stations on my computer.

I check the headlines on CNN or CNN Headline News several times a day for ten minutes or so as I wander through the kitchen, have lunch or dinner, feed the cat, etc. I subscribe to Time-Warner’s version of Tivo to record shows I want to see at my leisure. When all this media has turned my brain to mush, my default veg-out-to-TV shows are CSI, Without a Trace and any flavor of Law and Order.

I access email through Mozilla Thunderbird, use Sunrocket VoIP for my home telephone and was able to keep my New York telephone number (which I’ve had since 1975) by transferring it to my cell phone when I moved to Maine. Like this meme’s originator, Jeremiah, I’ve eliminated IM from life; it makes me twitchy.

I haven’t visited to a movie theater since I moved to Portland last year. I had come to dislike it in New York where patrons believe it is acceptable to use cell phones, talk to one another and/or comment on the film at street volume. I’ve joined Netflix now and sometimes use Time-Warner’s On Demand service.

This needs to be trimmed way down when renewals next come 'round. I subscribe to Time, Newsweek, U.S. News, and the Economist to know what the rest of the world is concerned with and they update me on stories of general interest that I’ve missed during the previous week. I also get The New York Review of Books, National Geographic, Down East (gotta learn more about my new home state), Business Week, Vanity Fair, The Nation, Harper’s, The Atlantic, Mother Jones and the New Yorker.

I also own on CDs the entire archive of the New Yorker, which I have found to be an essential research tool.

See Web above. I sometimes buy the Sunday New York Times, especially on a bad weather weekend when I won’t be going out. And as much as I think, long term, The New York Times is cutting their economic throat, I subscribe to their Select service which gives me access to the Op-Ed columnists and the entire historical archive of the paper.

Sometimes I think online booksellers would all shut down without me. Books are my biggest expenditure. For the past five or six years, about half my book buying relates to aging. The rest are about history, contemporary politics, social science and a handful of fiction writers I follow, plus the books that publishers send for review. There are usually about 10 to 15 books in the need-to-read pile.

Now it’s your turn. There’s no tagging specific people with this meme. Pick it up if you wish and we can all follow it with the Technorati tag, “Media Consumption Diet”. Or, if you’re not a blogger, let us know your media diet in the comments below.


Ooh, I like THIS meme, Ronni, and read your media picks with great interest.
My news sources are the Washington Post (printed) and NYT online, including its Opinion, for which I pay $50/year; blogs Americablog, Huffington Post and Daily Kos; on TV the Daily Show, Colbert Report and sometimes Keith Olbermann. Notice: no straight news shows.
Music - XM satellite radio.
Other TV - pretty much just the Charlie Rose Show and other public TV.
And the mags I read are the New Yorker and way too many about gardening (gotta keep up).

Just read my first book in which blogging is very central to the plot. It is Web of Evil by J.A. Jance the author of the award winning mystery series about a female sheriff in AZ. Ali Reynolds
the blogger(a new series for Jance) has some problems of her own but her Cutloose.com blog is a
neat twist to a light entertaining story. Of course, with my vision
problems I did the audio version
from the library which is twice as delightful.

Blogging is alive and well!
Donna in AR

Off topic, but I've another movie to add to your list. Antonia's Line (best foreign film in 1995)-- Antonia awakes one morning and decides that enough is enough. She is ready to leave this life, but not before reviewing it. Excellent movie, full of love and living. Antonia has lived a life both small and huge, and calls her family and friends to her side to witness her passing.

A very impressive meme list, Ronni....

I'll write down the categories and see what kind of a media diet i've been consuming. LOTS of Blackberries, that's for sure *:0) and my favorite truthout.org

more anon....

Web: I check in on my families' posts every day, and then I go down my blog roll and see what I have time for. Usually CNN, Hardball, Amazon, and sometimes I go shopping online.

Music: I have all my music on ipod and on my computer, but I hardly ever listen that way. Mostly CD's in my car of my favorite oldies: Carlie Simon, James Taylor, Sarah MacLachlin, PP&M, Carole King...

TV: I am hooked on CSI Miami, all Law and Orders, Without a Trace, Cold Case, A&E Mysteries, and the Travel Station. I watch Hardball and the Local News.

Communication: Email, telephone, (cell phone only if I have to), blog.

Movies: Just saw Breach in the theater, first in months (I loved it); mostly Netflix

Magazines: I always buy More, Oprah, and InStyle

Books: Mysteries, bestsellers, fashion, travel, kids books.

Newspapers: Local papers, Sunday NY Times, USA Today when I'm traveling.

My gosh, Ronni, when do you find time to breathe? You must be a speed reader. I have dropped my subscriptions to all magazines because I fell months behind in reading them. I do think I will miss Mother Jones when that subscription expires though. In addition to some of the WEB posts you mentioned I get Truthout and International Clearing House daily. Of course I subscribe to my local morning paper. My list is much shorter than yours and I think I spend too much time reading articles. Ronni, you have my admiration.

Oops! I made an error. I get the Information Clearing House, not the International. I also get the Huffington Post daily and read other editorials written by Mark Shields, etc.

Oh, Darlene, I don't read all those publications word-for-word. I skim the headlines, read the stuff I want and I use an old technique I developed for reading vast amounts of material for writing television interviews:

Read the first and last paragraphs of articles (for non-fiction books, first and last paragraphs of each chapter - obviously doesn't work for fiction) and then if it is really compelling or I need more detail I read the stuff in between.

Glad to hear how you handle all the reading; your lists were overwhelming to me, but do explain how you can bring so much info to us in such a range of ideas.

My list is completely different, though I will be taking a gander at some of the items you (and others) have listed.

I look at headlines only on any mainstream source; occassionally delve deeper, but not much.
I believe that my energy goes where my thoughts go, so I look for good news (hard to find) and for items/groups working toward peace, equality, spirit, etc., much more than for info/groups who struggle or fight against something.

I jump to blogs from other blogs - like some great reads I've found on your blogroll.

Music - I've loaded a bunch on my computer and listen to Sirius in the house some. I like quiet better. In the car I listen to CDs I've made from my computer lists.

TV - more than I want to admit to. My favs are HGTV, DIY, cooking shows. I love Gray's Anatomy though my 'medical' friends say it is very inaccurate ... it's the humanity of the characters I like.

Communications - OneSuite for long distance, local land line, and a cell phone for when we go out of town on car trips. We're thinking of moving to a city, then we might consider a cell service...but I'm not an on-call kind of woman. It's easy for me to ignore a ringing phone. ;>)

Movies - we rent 'em. Action, when our dander's up; comedy (but not slapstick); we tend to follow favorite actors like Sandra Bullock, Judi Dench, Alan Rickman, Ellen Burstyn, Anthony Hopkins.

Magazines off the shelf only, and usually things on the crafts we do or would like to do; occassionally Real Simple.

Local paper because I'm helping to manage a business here - must monitor our advertising and related 'goings on'. Otherwise, never; our paper is known as 'The Snooze Report'.

Books - love them - don't always read them...just the presence of a library feels good to me. Most of mine these days are works related to spirit in some fashion. I'm exploring Buddhist and Taoist writings, and enjoy writers who help me bring a centering spirit into my life. I follow a couple of mystery writers: Dick Francis, and Dorothy Gillman. I can read and reread Robert Heinlein, too. Grew up with him; still love him.

Thanks, Ronni; I'll go exploring now...

You inspired me -- I did the same exercise over at my blog here. It was a little scary. But now I am really aware of the whole inventory. Gosh.

Delightful. I'm on my first day of a common cold...therefor fuzzy. But I will file this one to do later. It's a facinating look at those of us who are not the targets of the ads.

And no Smithsonian? lol

I found this post of real interest and will put together my own list which I'll post over at my blog at some point.

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