Week One

24 Hours of Consumption

Despite what the title might lead you to believe, this won’t be a blog post about food. Over the course of 24 hours, I  took inventory of all of the ways I consumed media. I started when I woke up Friday at 8 a.m. and concluded my  observations when I woke up at 8 a.m. on Saturday.

I started my Friday as I always do and as I imagine a lot of people my age do: pulling the covers tighter around myself as I reached for my phone that sits less than a foot away from my head while I sleep. It’s probably broadcasting cancer straight into my brain for eight hours every night. Nevertheless, I’ve become so reliant on it for all of my communication that it sits so close to me acting as my alarm and my way of knowing if my manager needs me to come in earlier than I’m scheduled.

man with a beard standing on the street looking at his phone

I opened my phone and went straight to where I get most of my news, which is actually Reddit. I think I prefer Reddit over something like Twitter because of the security blanket it provides if I say something dumb. If I say it, there’s not a soul in the world who will know that it’s me. I also think its “News” tab is a good, up-to-date way to see what’s happening right now. I sleepily scrolled through it just to see if anything important happened while I was asleep.

Maybe it’s because of what I tend to look at and interact with on Reddit, but I found a lot of baseball news about the recent Houston Astros scandal. I like to think I’m caught up on the situation, but I do find it interesting that I found fact-checked information in the comment section. I’m a Twins fan, so I’m not personally affected the way I’d expect Yankees and Dodgers fans to be, but when I saw that the Astros were using buzzers to know which pitches were coming from opposing pitchers, I grabbed my pitchfork and lit my torch without second thoughts. Luckily, I took a step back and realized that I should probably do some deeper investigating. I went down in the comment section to see that tweets accusing the Astros of using buzzers were from an account that does not actually belong to the niece of one of the players involved in the scandal. Really, the information was mostly baseless, so I was able to calm down a bit.

I then went to the source of the news I personally like to consume, which is YouTube. I’m interested in going into entertainment journalism, so I like to consume as much entertainment journalism as I possibly can. In this day and age, my favorite sources of entertainment news come through YouTube. I’ve followed the same person providing movie news, reviews and opinions for many years now, and I actually follow him because of how trustworthy I believe he is. Yes, a lot of what he does is opinion-based, but movies are art, and art is subjective. That said, he has made videos to trace information to its source and judge that source’s validity. His showing of his dedication to finding the truth earned my trust.

Image result for john campea

His daily live show typically lasts two hours, most of which I’m able to catch before heading off to work for the day at 10 a.m.. I mostly stay busy at work and away from my phone, but I arrived back home at 5 p.m., and as much as I’m ashamed to admit it, I didn’t consume any hard news. Honestly, it was Friday night, and I had spent most of the week looking into articles about America’s involvement in the Middle East and the impeachment trial, so I decided to go see a movie at the movie theater. 1917 was the final Best Picture nominee I had yet to see, so I saw it at at a nearby Alamo Drafthouse.

George MacKay in 1917 (2019)

As I waited for the movie, I went back onto Reddit to check the latest movie news and discussion. I saw that Bad Boys for Life was on pace to make $70 million, which I thought was pretty impressive. I also saw a Variety article stating that Disney would be dropping the name “Fox” in its acquisition of the former studio’s properties, another Variety article stating that Netflix plans to spend $17 billion on content in 2020 and a Hollywood Reporter article about the American Cinema Editors’ Eddie Awards nominations.

Most of my use of media was for soft news, but I think I do a pretty good job of reading the headline from one form of media and proceeding to the primary source. For example, though the headlines initially caught my eye for both Variety articles, I went on to read the articles themselves before reading comment boards that might skew my thoughts. Variety cited sources it has inside studios as well as estimates from BMO Capital Markets, so I could trace their information back to where they received it from. Hollywood Reporter cited American Cinema Editors as the source of its story about award nominations, so I believed the news because it went back to the primary source of the information.

Variety News

Overall, it was a pretty mundane day in terms of news consumption, but it still made me think about the way I consume news and the type of news that I generally consume. I’d probably rate the baseball news I took in on Reddit a 5/10. I initially received incorrect information, then dug deeper to find the truth. I’m just happy that the truth existed so that I can continue to be skeptical and on the lookout for the facts in these scenarios. I’d rate the YouTube movie pundit’s show an 8/10. Again, this particular personality has gained my trust by either tracing the sources of his information or being very straightforward about the information’s level of validity, so I feel quite confident believing what he says. I’d rate Variety and The Hollywood Reporter both a 9/10. I don’t think I’d ever give a 10/10 because you just never know what’s entirely truthful and what isn’t, but I believe that they have industry sources giving them information, and I’d say that they’re correct 90% of the time. I also don’t see any bias in their reporting. They have no reason to have an agenda when it comes to reporting on Netflix’s spending or on Disney’s branding affairs.