My old plan was to listen alternately to a politically-right radio program followed by a politically-left radio program during my ten-minute daily drive to and from work. I thought this discipline might help me recognize and appreciate varying perspectives.

But it didn’t work.

The viewpoints I encountered on the radio were too extreme. The depth of unreflective presuppositional bias represented by so many radio personalities on both ends of the political spectrum made it difficult for me to mentally break through and acquire an appropriate understanding of what was really going on in the world.

So I (mostly) gave up on listening to talk or news radio.

Instead, about two years ago, I signed up to receive one daily news summary from an apparently reasonable right-of-center organization (The Morning Dispatch) and one daily news summary from an apparently reasonable left-of-center news organization (Axios).[1] Each summary takes about five minutes to read. If I want to go deeper, both organizations have a way to do so.

This decision rescued me from wasting time listening to radio drivel (not to mention radio anger, sarcasm, condescension, and arrogance) while still allowing access to the main news items of the day. I know that as a Christian, it is important to stay aware (at least to some degree) of what is going on in the world around me — without becoming “conformed to this world.” But some approaches to accessing news are more constructive than others.

Now, I am uncertain how The Dispatch will keep itself from veering further right, and Axios from veering further left, but for now both organizations seem reasonable within their own presuppositional commitments. The process of reading daily summaries from each of these two organizations allows me to quickly access at least a few top news stories each day.

By the way, I am not pretending to be a political centrist. On many issues, I’m not. I also don’t have plans to focus too much on politics in this post or any I write in the future, since political commentary isn’t central to my calling. If you haven’t figured it out yet, this post really isn’t about politics at all. It’s a word of encouragement for you to develop some sort of personal discipline that will allow you to minimally keep up with the news without permitting the news to overwhelm or drag you into a precarious rabbit hole.

I’m sure there are other ways to accomplish the same goal. But today I wanted to share this one way of filtering the daily news that has recently worked for me.

[1] The news summaries listed above can both be accessed for free. To go deeper, The Dispatch and Axios both offer paid subscriptions. One other helpful source I occasionally consult is AllSides. Thank you, Rick Langer, for introducing me to AllSides and to Mike Longinow for helpful feedback on this post.