God's Politics

God's Politics

Duane Shank: Your Comments on the Daily Digest

Thanks to everyone who posted a comment about the Daily Digest. I’ve read them all. I’m pleased that so many of you find the compilation useful. And thanks also for the helpful suggestions.

On the news sources I use. Several of you suggested The Wall Street Journal. I personally read the Journal and find it very useful. The problem with using it for this kind of compilation is that the online material is available to subscribers only, so linking to stories isn’t possible. A number of others suggested I read a McClatchy paper for a more “center of the nation” view. That’s a good idea – I have seen some good stories from their reporters. I’ll begin with the Kansas City Star – today’s Digest has several McClatchy stories from the Star. Others suggested more “small town newspapers,” although also noting that most of their stories come from wire services and their own coverage is mostly local news. That’s true, and there is also the matter of time – putting the digest together isn’t my only job. But I will try to watch out for more local stories from various parts of the country.


A large number of suggestions were related to including more news from international sources. Several of you noted Canada – a good suggestion. I’ll begin skimming the Globe & Mail and Toronto Star for a Canadian perspective. Other good suggestions were to include stories from Africa, Latin America, and Asia that go beyond violence and crisis. And more from “old Europe,” perhaps France’s Le Monde. Within the time available, I will try to do that.

There were suggestions for non-newspaper sources. Several of you mentioned blogs. I read a number of blogs, but I tend to think of them as more opinion than news. But if I find interesting things, I’ll throw some in the mix every now and then. Same with magazines. I don’t read many magazines, but again, I will look for useful pieces. And then there is the suggestion of FOX News. My personal bias is in favor of the print media rather than television. I rarely watch television news, so I haven’t included those stories here. And it’s not just FOX – I also don’t look at MSNBC, CNN, or the major networks. I’ll think about it.


On topics. Some of you would like more on education, health care, human rights, and indigenous people. And a suggestion that there is an over-emphasis on Iraq and Iran and that there should be more stories on poverty, housing, living wage, etc. I agree, but remember, I’m not creating the news, just compiling what is in the news. And these days that is a lot of Iraq and Iran. But I’ll try to be more alert to good pieces on poverty-related issues.

Thanks again for the responses. Feel free to post a comment any day to the Daily Digest – I always look. And pray for our world as you read the news. I often recall the saying of Karl Barth, who “advised young theologians ‘to take your Bible and take your newspaper, and read both. But interpret newspapers from your Bible.’”

Duane Shank is the issues and policy adviser for Sojourners/Call to Renewal – in addition to being our resident news junkie.

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posted May 31, 2007 at 6:48 am

If WSJ then NYT too for balance? Internationally I’d consider El Pais, Corriere della Serra and The Guardian from ‘old Europe’. No blogs or TV news I think is right

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posted May 31, 2007 at 6:29 pm

There are some good blogs that provide links to news stories with little or no opinion thrown in: and on the liberal side, and on the conservative side.

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James Ferguson

posted June 1, 2007 at 1:53 am

Hey Duane, Just a thought – I often find The Economist quite good at giving an international perspective quickly. Their opinion pages lean towards neo-liberal economics, but their reporting is often quite thorough and deep and their breadth of coverage is wider than most other newsources I’ve found. Peace, jf

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posted June 1, 2007 at 5:10 am

“I ll begin skimming the Globe & Mail and Toronto Star for a Canadian perspective.” Duane – as I noted in my response to your original post, and as a Canadian journalist, I want to reiterate that The National Post is the respected right-wing alternative daily newspaper in Canada and retains a roster of columnists of expat Canadians such as David Frum (GWBush’s former speechwriter of “axis of evil” infamy) and Mark Steyn. Reading both the G&M and Toronto Star (both quality publications in my view) would be drinking only at the fountain of our more left-wing publications….kinda like overdosing on the NY Times. I gathered from the general tone of the postings that many post-ers are interested in seeing the right-wing perspective of such publications as The WS Journal represented more.

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posted June 1, 2007 at 2:16 pm

OK, point taken. I’ll check out The National Post. That perspective is one of the reasons I read The Washington Times here – it does help give an alternative view of things. Duane

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posted June 1, 2007 at 4:49 pm

I’m new to this blog. If you’re trying to get a sense of the types of articles to comment on, I’d suggest you look at Chuck G. does a nice job of putting out multiple news listing to draw bloggers’ comments.

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