"Editing" the Web
"Editing" the Web

"Editing" the Web

Whom do you trust in your web browsing?

November 19 th 2010

In The Atlantic Wire, Jeffrey Goldberg says, about a precious few bloggers and pundits, "These are people who I trust to edit the Web for me."

Comment asked some friends: whom or what are the sources you trust in your web browsing? From news and analysis to sports and theatre, our contributors listed their ten most trusted online sources. Maybe you'll find a new favourite here, too.

—The Editors

Twitter and Facebook have actually fundamentally altered the way I encounter online media. I get most of my blog updates via these feeds and read a great many articles as a result of the recommendations of "friends." Viral forwarding plays a major role in my online media consumption. That said, here are mine:

  1. Facebook/Twitter—responsible for most of the articles I read in a day via viral friend feeds
  2. Arts & Letters Daily (also via Twitter)—cultural and academic topics of interdisciplinary interest
  3. ProfHacker—also from the folks at the Chronicle of Higher Education. Resources on pedagogy and the outrageous excesses of the academy
  4. BBC News—fast, (mostly) accurate non-North American news
  5. The Globe and Mail—my first stop everyday for Canadian news (I get the Post in print)
  6. The New York Times—my American news daily
  7. The Mark (again, via Facebook)—an emerging and highly compelling conversation amongst Canadian influencers
  8. The Ink Tank (via the Boston Globe)—a roundup of the best political cartoons across America
  9. David Koyzis—a prolific blogger who almost never has a dud post.
  10. The great web ring of college phase humour, including Failbook and Failblog. It makes me laugh out loud, every single day.

Robert Joustra, Hamilton, Ontario

  1. For news—great (though U.S.-centric)—http://newstrust.net
  2. For tech + offbeat + humour—http://boingboing.net
  3. For other tech news—slashdot.org
  4. And I do a little web-editing myself—http://www.google.com/reader/shared/mhjbnz

Matthew Bartlett, New Zealand

  1. BBC news—They know how to represent the whole world in one news page, rather than simply representing a single country.
  2. The New York Times (I get it free as a Penn State student!)—Something I would never have considered appears every day. I'm also learning to look at the international pages!
  3. Onward State.com—What kind of college student wouldn't acknowledge her student news source? This is a quirky, off-the-beaten-path news blog about life both at Penn State University and the world at large. They've won awards for top university journalism in their two years of existence.
  4. The Curator, through International Arts Movement—Great cultural thoughts. Always challenging and thought-provoking.
  5. stevelutz.wordpress.com—A campus minister who blogs some great thoughts on ministry. Always links to some great other articles to consider. As a student at a major university, these are always encouraging and challenging to my thoughts about my calling as a student.

Dana Ray, Hummelstown, Pennsylvania

  1. I find increasingly that my Twitter "friends" are my main source of news and the curated web, though often they are simply linking out to others. If enough people are Tweeting about it, I take notice. I learned about quite a few things this way: several celebrity deaths, including Michael Jackson's, the earthquake in Haiti, bills passing in Congress, and more, and I generally pick up some of my most interesting reads of the week that way.
  2. I actually read the New York Times every day, sometimes taking it with a grain of salt, but always grateful for it.
  3. NPR—ditto.
  4. Kottke.org
  5. The Chronicle of Higher Education
  6. The Paris Review Daily
  7. My neighborhood's blog, hosted by the NYTimes and run by CUNY's graduate program in journalism: The Local Fort Greene.
  8. Arts & Letters Daily and BookForum
  9. Ross Douthat, Nick Kristof, David Brooks, and Michael Gerson (I don't always agree, but I always appreciate)
  10. Whatever my Facebook friends are posting to their profiles

Alissa Wilkinson, Brooklyn, New York

  1. christianweek.org—reliable news and comments about Christian faith and life in Canada
  2. winnipegfreepress.com—keeps me informed about life in my hometown
  3. globeandmail.com—timely news and perspectives covering Canada and the world
  4. economist.com—excellent analysis and special reports on global affairs
  5. benedictionblogson.com—relentless examination of religious landscape in Canada
  6. stackblog.wordpress.com—erudite opinions from a Canadian evangelical scholar
  7. faith-theology.blogspot.com—eclectic commentary from an Australian theologian
  8. ted.com—ideas from leaders in thought, compellingly presented
  9. markpetersen.wordpress.com—insight and ideas from a Canadian Christian philanthropist
  10. cardus.ca—obviously (actually, the weekly email frequently leads me to the site, which includes excellent material)

Doug Koop, Winnipeg, Manitoba

  1. NationalPost.com is my home page and first news stop
  2. TSN.ca gives me a local sports bend, but
  3. SI.com gives me the best sportswriters
  4. Macleans.ca has unparalleled columnists, and not just in politics
  5. Bourque.com often scoops, Drudge-style, Canadian political news
  6. Wired.com's "Top Stories" feed usually provides the most forward-able tidbits
  7. HuffingtonPost.com's "Most Popular" feed for south-of-the-border politics
  8. KyivPost.com connects me to my wife's homeland news
  9. News.BBC.co.uk seems to have the most random editors in the world

Many of these I access more regularly from my phone than my computer.

Dan Postma, Hamilton, Ontario

  1. Google Reader—The main source through which I keep up on news and opinions on the web. I have separated my feeds into a few different categories ranging from "fun" to "politics."
  2. bbc.co.uk/news—My main source for finding out what is happening.
  3. Nos.nl—I was born and spent the first 18+ years of my life in the Netherlands, and the NOS is the Dutch equivalent of the BBC/CBC.
  4. TSN.ca—Canada's equivalent of ESPN. Given the right conditions, I can be an active fan of almost any sport.
  5. ted.com—I try to listen to a few of their great talks every week.
  6. National Post Full Comment and Macleans Opinions—Two of my main sources for public opinion.
  7. spacingtoronto.ca—A Toronto-based blog on changes happening in Toronto. Their weekly World Wide Wednesday blog is my favourite.
  8. Facebook—I run into numerous interesting things on the internet through my network of friends and organizations which I "like."
  9. http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/bio/timkeller.html—A great website with numerous Tim Keller sermons that I frequent from time to time.

Willem de Ruijter, Hamilton, Ontario

When I am on the web, I follow links suggested by Facebook friends. I read The Curator, Comment, Image updates and Art House America. And whatever Byron Borger at Hearts and Minds Books wants me to read. For news, I read the Drudge Report. I know that isn't cool, but I enjoy it.

Ned Bustard, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

  1. nytimes.com—As they say, "All the News That's Fit to Print"—consistently well-written and culturally relevant.
  2. theglobalist.com—For a quick overview of world-shaping news and ideas.
  3. bestcommentaries.com—When you ask yourself, which commentary would be good for _______?
  4. faithandwork.org—For great examples of how a church can engage the vocational sphere (flagrant self-interest here).
  5. pewforum.org—My go-to place for stats related to religion and public life.
  6. nymag.com—Where I go when I need to get the cultural pulse of NYC.
  7. jubilee-centre.org—A wealth of resources about living out a Biblical vision of society. Some of the best integrative thinking out there.
  8. macrumors.com—Where I indulge in my fascination with the creative world of Apple.

David H. Kim, Princeton, New Jersey

  1. Canadian Christianity—Weekly news mostly about what's happening out west and in other parts of Canada.
  2. Christian Week—Weekly Canadian news and features from across Canada with a focus on the mid-west.
  3. Focus on the Family—The site doesn't update frequently, but when it does, it summarizes events that affect family and marriage in Canada.
  4. Bible League News—A gem! This Canadian site carries a few new stories each day from around the world on several topics.
  5. Acts News Network—Canadian news director Marney Blom posts a video news story with a biblical perspective from Israel twice a month.
  6. Holy Post—National Post's religion section is updated daily and carries news and commentary that I find invaluable.
  7. Activate CFPL Blog—The law and public policy blog of The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada's Centre for Faith and Public Life.
  8. LifeSite News—This website is dedicated to issues of culture, life, and family.
  9. Institute of Marriage and Family Canada—Research and commentary on issues that affect family life.
  10. Writers: Douglas Todd, Vancouver Sun Blogs; Mark Milke, Calgary Herald; Barbara Kay; Fr. Raymond de Souza, Dr. Margaret Somerville: Catholic Educator's Resource; David Koyzis; David Warren.

Daina Doucet, Hamilton, Ontario

My "editing the web" strategy has three distinct components, with a fourth included for eclecticity's sake.

  1. Social Media: Facebook and Twitter are two tabs that automatically open in my browser and have radically changed how I keep "in the loop." My friends and colleagues—through their links, status updates, and tweets—not only keep me updated on their activities, but also on breaking news, be it in the political or sports world, and share links that are usually worth my time to read. Google Alerts is also a significant tool in my strategy, and I have about a dozen alerts that come to me daily on subjects or persons of interest.
  2. Aggregators: http://www.nationalnewswatch.com and www.bourque.com for Canadian political news and opinion; Justin Taylor's blog and reformation21.org and challies.com for Reformed news and opinion.
  3. Websites: I have folders for Canadian news (http://www2.macleans.ca/category/blog-central/canada-blog/capital-read/?cid=nav; http://www.cbc.ca/politics/insidepolitics) ; partisan spin (bloggingtories.ca; http://www.liblogs.ca; and http://newdemocratsonline.ca being the obvious Canadian places to go for that); reflections on the intersection of faith and public life (http://www.firstthings.com and http://www.theosthinktank.co.uk) ; personal acquaintance blogs (David Murray's http://headhearthand.posterous.com/ and David Koyzis' http://byzantinecalvinist.blogspot.com/ are among the 30 or so I check when I have time) and a host of other categories related to my research interests and responsibilities.
  4. Arts and Letters Daily opens automatically on my browser and provides easy links to an interesting article, book review, and essay each day, which I otherwise would never find. I hit those links and find interesting things I never knew about, which I then type into Google, which gives me 50 other interesting related things, and so it goes until the guilt of wasting time online exceeds the value of the interesting information being discovered.

Ray Pennings, Calgary, Alberta

  1. http://www.bbc.co.uk/mundo (Spanish edition)—First stop for news. Interestingly enough, this is not just a translation of the English version, but an independent voice and perspective on what goes on in the world . . . and yes, it can be painfully honest and brutally scathing in its critique of Western policies.
  2. http://www.prensalibre.com—Guatemalan Newspaper.
  3. http://www.cbc.ca—Keeps me somewhat connected with the folks back home.
  4. http://dailyoffice.org/home.html—Episcopal lectionary with readings and prayers. Part of my daily life as I seek to be shaped by and participate in Christ´s story. When I need to do this in Spanish, I visit http://www.missionstclare.com/espanol.
  5. http://www.theotherjournal.com—Keeps me thinking with others about the relationship between faith and culture.
  6. http://www.lupaprotestante.com—Premier site for Protestant thought in the Spanish world. Engaging and thought provoking.
  7. http://ancienthebrewpoetry.typepad.com—Keeps me connected with Biblical scholarship, especially regarding to the Old Testament. (Though it hasn't been updated since August, the archives are great!).
  8. http://www.npr.org—Particularly the music.
  9. http://www.kairos.org.ar/blog—Rene Padilla's blog that promotes discipleship and integral mission. Latin American missionary statesman.
  10. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/gtwo_epac.shtml—National Hurricane Center. When you live in my part of the world, this information is vital.

Carlos Herfst, Quetzaltenango, Guatemala

I'm currently writing a book about the noise in our lives and how it can distract us from relationships with family, friends, and God—my premise is that the problem is that we do not own technology, but rather, technology owns us. So, in an attempt to walk the talk, I've been editing not just my Internet intake, but my Internet habits. With that caveat:

  1. News—http://www.nytimes.com, filtered first through my husband, who lets me know if there is something of particular interest
  2. Culture—Several unnamed sources (mother-daughter confidentiality!), filtered through my 20-year-old, upon whom I rely to keep me somewhat in the loop
  3. Green Living—www.treehugger.com and www.thegreenguide.com
  4. Creation care—www.blessedearth.org (where I do a bit of my own web editing)

Nancy Sleeth, Wilmore, Kentucky

  1. Uppercase—For the creative and curious
  2. The New York Times Fashion & Style pages—For all the style that's fit to print
  3. The Guardian—For critics and culture
  4. Frankie—For off-the-beaten-path art, fashion, and craft news
  5. CBC—For the headlines
  6. GOOD Magazine—For media that matters
  7. Frances Bula on city life and politics—For the state of Vancouver
  8. The Atlantic—For top-notch blogging
  9. CBC Radio 3 Blog—Pour la musique and good ol' hilarity
  10. The Literary Review of Canada—For (Canadian) words of the moment

Christina Crook, Burnaby, British Columbia

  1. realclearpolitics.com—A helpful compilation of political news, editorials, videos, twitter feeds, polling data, and electoral results
  2. cfr.org—Respected foreign affairs analysis, background articles, blog posts, and multimedia
  3. mirrorofjustice.blogs.com—Blog posts and perspectives by Catholic and other Christian legal scholars on faith, public policy, and religious freedom
  4. booksandculture.com—Reflective book reviews and commentary that expose and alert me to a wide range of cultural and literary trends
  5. Beneath the Surface at raypennings.com—Commentary and helpful perspective on Canadian public affairs by an insightful Christian insider
  6. scotusblog.com—Excellent wrap-up of U.S. Supreme Court decisions and developments by Washington DC attorneys
  7. IRFalliance.org—Analysis and updates of the latest developments in public policy affecting the religious freedom of faith-based organizations
  8. http://byzantinecalvinist.blogspot.com—A treasure trove of reflections on faith, politics, culture, music, and more
  9. Image Journal's Good Letters—Literary and culture review and reflections that expand my narrow reading list
  10. Hollywoodjesus.com—A decidedly different take on pop culture and current films

Stephen Lazarus, Toronto, Ontario

  1. Comment—In all honesty, this is my lodestone
  2. bbc.co.uk/news—Ensures that I'm not locked in a North-American bubble
  3. The New York Times—American news
  4. Arts and Letters Daily—An intellectual feast
  5. booksandculture.com and ChristianityToday.com=—Keep me in the conversation of Christianity and Culture
  6. curatormagazine.com—The International Arts Movement's publication that provides space for discovering and celebrating cultural artifacts
  7. Image Journal and their ImageUpdate—Provides thoughtful book reviews, gallery listings, featured artists
  8. Byron Borger's BookNotes—Influential in guiding my Christmas wishlist
  9. Friends on Facebook consistently surprise me with insight (and humour) about our society

Christina Frye, Ashtabula, Ohio

  1. catapultmagazine.com—A community of friends wondering together online
  2. cardus.ca/comment—Love the weekly dose of art and thought
  3. rapidgrowthmedia.com—An overview of local Grand Rapids news
  4. chronicle.com—Higher education trends and stories
  5. geezmagazine.org—An alternative vision for doing things thoughtfully
  6. nytimes.com—Particularly Brooks, Krugman, Dowd and Kristof
  7. theotherjournal.com—More alternative vision
  8. facebook.com—Links from friends too varied to list
  9. orionmagazine.org—Nature, culture, place
  10. sojo.net—Contemporary overview of social justice issues and conversations

Jeffrey Bouman, Grand Rapids, Michigan

  1. 921wlhr.com—I am a recent transplant to northeast Georgia—a very rural area. Few news sources cover what is going on in our region. This is the website for the only local FM station around and they cover local news that I can't find anywhere else.
  2. facebook.com—My family and friends are scattered about the world. I appreciate the various newsfeeds this social networking site provides me, especially because my dad recently joined, and he shares all kinds of goodies he finds on the web!
  3. onlineathens.com & ajc.com & franklincountycitizen.com—Again, much like the first site I listed, these local news sources help me stay in touch with the local pulse. My husband is the mayor of our small town (approximately 3000 residents), and I have grown to appreciate the importance of knowing what is going on when it comes to the local level of politics and community issues. The national news tends to overshadow what is happening on the local level, and I'm constantly looking for ways to keep up with the local.
  4. npr.org—I've been listening to NPR for as long as I can remember. Seriously, I grew up listening to Morning Edition on the way to school. I appreciate their unique approach to storytelling!
  5. twitter.com—Enough said! I have grown to appreciate the power of social networking and connecting with the people I know. Twitter is yet another way to share thoughts and news to a unique audience.
  6. galileo.usg.edu—I'm a librarian in the state of Georgia. This is our statewide database consortium; I love this resource because it opens up a whole new world for my students!
  7. ministryvault.com—This is new to my list. A good friend recently launched it, and I have found it immensely helpful in my efforts to understand how I might better use the technological resources that are out there.
  8. csmonitor.com—Dr. Jay Green made us subscribe to this in the good old-fashioned paper back in college, and I've been hooked ever since!
  9. resourceshelf.com—I've been a librarian for three years now. I read about this on a listserv and it's my go-to place for resources to share with my students and colleagues. It helps keep me in the know.
  10. c-spanvideo.org/videolibrary—I am a C-Span junkie. I love that C-Span exists. I love it even more with this web presence. I know I'm a nerd.

Austina Jordan, Franklin Springs, Georgia

  1. Globe and Mail, NY Times, and BBC apps on my iPhone
  2. Academica's Top Ten—Canadian Higher Education News
  3. Inside Higher Education—U.S. Higher Education News
  4. Facebook links from friends.
  5. Piled Higher and Deeper—Very humorous for a doctoral student
  6. Writing resources on university websites (www.redeemer.ca or www.apu.edu)
  7. www.foodnetwork.ca—The best recipes with Canadian chefs
  8. Journal Websites—Leadership Quarterly and New Directions for Student Services

Richard Wikkerink, Caledonia, Ontario

Topics: Journalism
Robert Joustra
Robert Joustra

Robert Joustra (Ph.D., University of Bath) teaches politics & international studies at Redeemer University, where he is also Director of the Centre for Christian Scholarship. He is the author and editor of several books, most recently The Religious Problem with Religious Freedom: Why Foreign Policy Needs Political Theology (Routledge, 2017). He is a Fellow with the Center for Public Justice and an Editorial Fellow with The Review of Faith & International Affairs.

Ned Bustard
Ned Bustard

I am the owner of an illustration and graphic design firm called World's End Images. I received my B.A. in art from Millersville University of Pennsylvania. I have done work for various clients ranging from the Publication Society of the Reformed Episcopal Church, White Horse Inn, and Christians in the Visual Arts, to ICI Americas, Macy's West and Armstrong World Industries. I was the art director for the late, great, alternative Christian music publication, Notebored Magazine. Much of my current work is for Veritas Press, for whom I have also written a number of books including Legends & Leagues or Mr Tardy Goes From Here to There, The Sailing Saint, Ella Sings Jazz, and a historic novel, Squalls Before War: His Majesty's Schooner Sultana.


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