By Ian Silvera
How do you get your news? I doubt you calmly and slowly digest a print newspaper over a glass of orange juice and a bowl of cornflakes as part of a chilled and mindful morning routine, that’s for sure.
The likelihood, according to the UK’s media watchdog Ofcom, is that you’re getting it from TV (75% of adults) online (66%) and via social media (49%). Facebook, for instance, was in the top three (35%) news sources in 2019, with BBC One coming in first (58%) and ITV ranking second (40%).
Considering the near saturation of smartphones in the West, the news-on-the-go phenomenon has become a cultural and economic paradigm. Almost six-in-ten (57%) Americans, to give an example aside from the UK, get their news this way, compared with nearly a third (30%) who use desktops, PewResearch discovered last year.
News-makers know this and that is why – in case you doubted it – they send you notifications in the middle of the night about a ‘breaking’ development. They’re looking to drive your eyes and clicks to their content, boosting their traffic. But this needn’t be a one-way-relationship, you can create your own newswire thanks to the power of Twitter to catch all the business and political news you can consume.
How to create your own newswire
1. Download and sign-up to Twitter on your smartphone
2. Go to Settings and enable notifications
3. Follow and click the bell notification button on the following accounts:
- PA Media (@PA)
Formerly known as the Press Association, the wire service provides news and other media content to the UK’s national and regional publications.
- Fast FT (@FastFT)
The Financial Times’ breaking news service. It is particularly active around 7am (UK time) on weekdays, when London-listed-companies typically first publish their trading updates, results and other market sensitive information.
- Bloomberg Markets (@markets)
Breaking news and analysis from Bloomberg Markets team.
- Reuters Business (@ReutersBiz)
Business and economic information from global newswire Reuters.
- AFP (@AFP)
French-headquartered international newswire service.
4. Depending on how busy you want your feed, you may also want to add these additional accounts and news publications’ own feeds:
- Mark Kleinman (@MarkKleinmanSky)
Sky News’ City editor and City AM columnist.
- Laura Kuenssberg (@BBCLauraK)
BBC News’ Political Editor.
- The Times (@TheTimes)
The UK’s paper of record, which has numerous section-focused accounts.
- The Telegraph (@Telegraph)
Right-leaning broadsheet publication, that has dedicated political and business teams.
- Mail+ (@MailPlus_)
The Daily Mail’s new online offering, not to be confused with sister publication The Mail Online.
- Evening Standard (@EveningStandard)
London’s main print and online news publication.
5. Use the feed on your desktop (double-screen) or mobile device.
Sort of 24/7
By using this do-it-yourself newswire, you will quickly discover that the 24/7 news-cycle isn’t quite 24/7: information can certainly be published and broadcast at any time, but it typically ebbs and flow throughout the week. Really the news-cycle, at least in the UK, starts on Sunday, with the Sunday titles and shows – the BBC One’s Andrew Marr programme, for instance – publishing agenda-setting articles, features and interviews.
In the week, meanwhile, business news breaks around 7am, which coincides with the BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, while the popular ‘Tomorrow’s Papers Today’ front pages start coming in around 10.30pm in the evening. Everything usually slows down on Friday and Saturday in the UK, when MPs have left Westminster and companies seldom make announcements.
With all of this in mind, make sure to turn off your Twitter notifications accordingly otherwise you could find that the news-cycle consumes you.