Getting the News — Anthony De Rosa

(This post is the third in’s ongoing series, “Getting the News.” In our efforts to understand everything about social news, we’re reaching out to writers and thinkers we like to ask them how they get their daily news. Read the first post here. See all of the posts here.)

This week, our interviewee is Anthony De Rosa, social media editor for Reuters and founder of the extremely popular tumblog Soup. We were following Anthony’s tweets closely on Oct. 20, when Moammar Gaddafi was overthrown and killed, and subsequently wrote an overview of how the news broke that day. He did an incredible job of using the medium to get the news out, and we wanted to know more about how he stays informed.

Describe how you get news throughout the day. What’s the first thing you check when you wake up?

First thing I check is Twitter. I scan it to see what I might have missed overnight and what is breaking in the morning. On the train into work I’ll catch up on articles I Instapaper’d and when I get into work I’ll scan our Reuters wire for news that’s starting to come in early. Muckrack is the best email newsletter I get, and it’s a good rundown of what’s happening early on in the day.
What publications or news sources do you read and trust? How frequently do you visit them throughout the day?

Aside from our own Reuters news, I’ll go and read The Atlantic which does a good job at gathering what I need to know from all over, I’ll scan the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Guardian, Al-Jazeera, BBC, CNN, and niche sites like Politico, SB Nation, Mets Blog, All Things Digital, and Gawker’s network of sites (in particular Gizmodo and the main Gawker). I have a RSS reader filled with these sites and more, but I tend to go directly to them. My RSS reader helps me find what I might have missed or a site I might forget to check. I like to read sites across the political spectrum to challenge myself. I don’t like to get into an ideological rut and want to be informed about what all sides are saying. I visit the big sites, the first seven I mentioned, several times a day, especially to see how they’re all reporting a big story.

What platforms do you read/get content on? Are you into reading content on your iPhone or tablet, or do you still remember how to unfold a newspaper? Do you ever watch television news programs?

At work I’m on my desktop all day, but at home I tend to use my iPad and prefer to take that with me on the road as well. I’d say a majority of the longer form reading I do now is on the iPad. I don’t have enough time in the working hours to spend reading long pieces but I will read them later on the iPad, either at home or on the train.

On the weekend, I like to read a real physical newspaper, I like to sit on the couch, grab a coffee and relax and spread the newspaper out and read it. That’s the only two days, other than the amNY or Metro I read on the train sometimes, where I’ll dig into a paper newspaper. I watch a lot of television news. Tends to be CNN but I’ll sometimes see what MSNBC, Fox News or Current TV has on. I watch all the political shows on Sunday along with Howard Kurtz on “Reliable Sources.” If I’m not around or busy I DVR them and watch later.

What was the last great article you read? How did you find out about it? Is this your typical pattern?

The last great article I read was a great scoop by one of our journalists, Jim Finkle, about how the NSA is helping banks fight hackers. I am aware of what our journalists are working on ahead of time, so I had a heads up.

If you want something from a non-Reuters journalist, I really enjoyed David Carr’s piece [in the New York Times] on how executives at media organizations are making obscene amounts of money and it’s hurting the ability to staff great journalists in the newsroom. I found out about it from Twitter, from someone I follow who saw David’s piece and sent it into my feed.

Is anything missing from your news consumption pattern now or in the tools/sites that you use? Anything you wish you had?

I wish Twitter was able to package all the great bits of information and present it in a more narrative format. I think Storify is helping to do that, and it would be cool to see them partner up and allow Twitter users to create more fully formed stories using social media in that way.

I also wish there were better live-blogging tools available. Some of them are pretty good, but they’re missing an element that allows me to quickly and easily grab the media I want to use or the formatting of the live blog is just not as sharp as I’d like.

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