LINK: Joe Carter has a great post up on not reading newspapers, so it's time for my guilty confession: I no longer do, either.
Time was, I read through the WaPo and NYT every day, as well as various other stories off the Detroit Free Press and the Guardian (for the international perspective). But what I discovered is mostly that: stories aren't on topics I find even remotely interesting, the detail involved is insufficient for my interest (or lacks references to the relevant primary sources), simply rehashes tired cliches (especially bad in writing about politics) or (as I've discovered as I get more into the political science thing--I'd be interested in Chris Lawrence's views on this, since he's further down that pike than I am) they engage in bad statistical, logical or theoretical work, which sort of compromises how good the end product can be.
To take yesterday's Newdow ruling as an example: why read what the NYT has to say when you can go to How Appealing, read the ruling yourself, then check around on the Volokh Conspiracy and elsewhere to get commentary on it? What, in short, can a news story tell me that I can't find out on my own with sufficient motivation*? Isn't the opportunity cost of reading a story first and then going to read more about it higher than just doing that other reading in the first place?
*It's not as if my failing to read something on a topic to which I have no first-hand access to knowledge myself (e.g. the political situation in Pakistan) means I can never have knowledge of it.