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Tips: How to Read the News Online (Mostly Free!)

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The digital news world is noisy and can be incredibly overwhelming, confusing and intimidating.  There is just so much out there coming from all angles that it can seem easier to just avoid it all or watch the news instead of learning how to read the news online. 

But reading the news is different than watching the news.  I have found that I have had different opinions on various stories when I read about them versus watch about them.  Unfortunately, the televised news moves very quickly, leaving out important details, and the news channels that feature “talking heads” all day can be very grounded in opinions versus facts and hard-hitting journalism.   

The life-changing benefits of reading do not just apply to books! Not only have I become more informed about what is going on in the world, and not only have my opinions changed, but my plans of action on various issues have also changed. That can be profoundly important and affect such important life decisions as how to parent and what to do with your money.

I have found some ways that make it so much easier to read the news.  When I recently posted about how to read more books, I knew this post was a necessary follow-up and something that can make a tremendous impact on people’s lives.  Below I tackle how to read the news online in ways that are easy and mostly free. 

(Note: many of these recommendations are geared towards females) 


theSkimm sends out a daily newsletter, called the Daily Skimm, which quickly breaks down, in an easy-to-digest and objective manner, the top news stories.

This is an email I go to early each morning to make sure I know exactly what the major stories are in the world in about one minute. And if you don’t trust my opinion alone, then take Oprah Winfrey’s word for it:

I just became a Skimm’r. News that’s smart and fun. Those @theSkimm girls are on to something.

Oprah Winfrey

Sign up for the Daily Skimm email newsletter (free).

Hitha Palepu’s #5smartreads

Hitha Palepu’s #5smartreads is another one of my favorite ways to read the news. Hitha is an uber-smart and successful entrepreneur, investor, author, mom and so much more. She scours the internet every morning to provide her readers with #5smartreads on topics beyond the top headlines that are really interesting, informative and relevant. Gender equality is one big topic she posts, but the articles differ every day. Hitha does the work for you of scanning countless headlines and finding 5 gems each day. I spend just a few minutes each morning reading her selections before I start my day.

Follow Hitha (and #5smartreads) on Instagram (free).


Feedly is a common answer to the question of how to read the news online. It’s a newsreader by which you can quickly organize and read all of your favorite news websites and/or blogs on your desktop or via their mobile app. You simply add websites to your feed and Feedly lists all new articles in one categorized feed.

This allows you to quickly see what’s new on several sites at once and choose what articles are standouts for you to read. I scroll through my feed once each morning and choose a few articles to read. Even the act of scanning headlines is helpful in learning what is going on in the world.

Join Feedly (free).


Twitter is the fastest moving, and most up to date, news source on the internet. In one quick scan a few times per day, I can see what news is trending and read further if I choose. If an important story is still developing, you can get the most recent news there, since it is so quick and easy for people to update Twitter.

Often, people will tweet about things that don’t make it into the mainstream media as well, which can help in keeping you fully informed.

If you don’t know who to follow on Twitter, start by checking out some of the sources I mentioned in the Feedly section above, your local and national political leaders and/or just take a look at what’s trending and go from there. This is a really simple answer to how to read the news online that anyone can do quickly and easily.

Join Twitter (free).

I try to retweet as many interesting (non-political) news articles as I can, along with book-related bits.

Follow me on Twitter.


According to Medium,

“Our  sole purpose is to help you find compelling ideas, knowledge, and perspectives. “


Medium’s writers are generally freelancers with unique perspectives on topics that matter. It’s the type of place you can get insight into personal development and wellness topics and smart stories that make you think. While it’s not all traditional news articles per se, the articles can be very topical and come from different angles.

You can sign up for a daily newsletter tailored to your interests. Non-members get 3 free premium articles per month. A membership for access to all articles costs $5.00/month or $50.00/year. Your membership fees directly pay the freelance writers who write the articles you read, which is also a win for the economy.

I have a yearly membership, and I love it. I check it once each day and can generally find an array of articles that interest me. You can also follow writers and Medium publications that interest you to tailor it more to your interests.

Sign up for Medium’s daily digest, personally tailored to you (free for up to 3 premium articles per month).

Become a member of Medium (paid subscription).

Girls’ Night In 

Girls’ Night In is a fun and insightful self-care newsletter for introverted women that arrive in your inbox each Friday morning. In addition to various self-care recommendations, it provides a list of smart reads that are newsworthy. It’s a no-brainer for bookish women looking to squeeze in a bit more news reading with their weekend self-care practices.

Subscribe to Girls’ Night In (free).

The Lily

The Lily was the first U.S. newspaper for and by women. I am subscribed to their email newsletter, which is delivered every Monday and Thursday and focuses on empowering stories for women. It’s another no-brainer for those who want to easily support women’s empowerment.

Subscribe to The Lily (free).

That is how to read the news online, with 8 sources that are easy and mostly free. Try at least one of the above to tackle the noisiness of the digital news world and let me know if it changes your life too.

Pin this post on Pinterest because it’s an important topic to share with others and you can also refer back to it later to try more news sources.

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