Ambar’s primary interest is issue-oriented news, and she loves the immediacy digital platforms provide, especially when it comes to her client work in workforce development, health care and education.
Ambar Mentor-Truppa picks up her iPhone first thing in the morning and throughout the day, checking emails from news sources and others first, then her Twitter and Facebook accounts. “The iPhone is a mini-extension of my body,” Ambar says.
She skims Chicago’s main print news sources—Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Crain’s Chicago Business (links)—online every day and checks breaking news email alerts from these publications throughout the day. And she checks out the New York Times (link) for stories that can help contextual local issues. Though Ambar is ready to go all digital, her husband still craves the experience of the physical paper so she often flips through that as well. “The key is everything is very fast paced; a leisurely read of the paper just isn’t possible anymore,” she says.
Ambar’s Twitter and Facebook accounts are open and on all the time, and she skims through both every couple of hours. Tweetdeck (link) helps her organize tweets so that news-oriented tweets are easily accessible. “I can’t stay in touch with everything personally,” Ambar says. “These tools can help me start a conversation or quickly find out what other people are talking about and finding relevant.”
She also finds more and more news content showing up on her Facebook feed. For example she finds herself reading a lot of Huffington Post content without actually going to the site.
Organizational websites and online newsletters that offer links to traditional media stories and organizationally generated content about people and activities are another important one-stop source of news for Ambar. First class examples include: Women Employed, Heartland Alliance and Advance Illinois (links).
WBEZ-FM is also a favorite, but TV news is a two to three times of week thing, at best.
Ambar saves her long form content for weekly, monthly or occasional reading, using a combination of online and print sources. Newsweek and Flipbook provide a national outlook. Most important Chicago news sources include Chicago Reader, Chicagoist, TimeOut and Chicago Magazine (links). In all, Ambar estimates that nearly three-quarters of her news about Chicago is obtained online.
Ambar feels well informed about Chicago, but only up to a point. “I feel the news provides a baseline, but I don’t think the resources are being devoted to get at the deeper stories to help us understand crime or education. This is a missed opportunity.”
Ambar’s guilty pleasure is jezebel.com. “It’s got a snarky feminist point of view that makes me laugh and think at the same time.”
By Valerie Denney
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