It can feel harder to keep up with a healthy news diet than keeping up with the Kardashians these days (Seriously, how do I not watch their show but still innately know there is so much drama with Scott?). But it costs $0.00 to stay informed and maintaining a healthy timeline of diverse stories is doable, with very minimal effort. If you are a person who mooches Netflix passwords and still has to skip ads on Spotify, this is for you.
Here are some tips on how to stay woke for free:
If you’re sick of hitting that “…you’ve reached your maximum 5 free articles” when scrolling through The New York Times, or The Boston Globe — open up a new incognito tab in Google Chrome and now they become unlimited. You’re welcome. Although, since journalism jobs are on the decline, if you can pay for a subscription, you should, to keep the newspapers alive.
Instead of paying to subscribe to publication, you can also subscribe to their newsletter by email for free. The Washington Post has some really great ones, namely, The Lily, a semi-new and experimental news source that caters to millennial women and world issues. It’s appropriately named “The Lily” because that was the name of the first newspaper ran exclusively by women in 1849.
If you do want a subscription, many news sites hide their student discount sub offers, but they can be found with a bit of digging: The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post (This one’s free with an .edu email!), and The Wall Street Journal.
Follow the thought leaders. Being ‘woke’ is about listening to other people who are not the same as you, avoiding slacktivism, and resisting the urge to insert yourself into someone else’s narrative á la Lena Dunham. Luckily there are many great, selfless influencers who are not her.
To start with the basics, there’s Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche — famously known for her TED talk “We Should All Be Feminists.” and her best-seller “Americanah” (which Mackenzie reviewed here). Roxane Gay, author of “Bad Feminist,” “Hunger,” and “Difficult Women” (also reviewed!) Constance Wu, Fresh Off The Boat actress and outspoken advocate for women’s rights. Wu is also set to star in the upcoming film adaptation of “Crazy Rich Asians,” the first all-Asian Hollywood film in over 20 years. There’s “2 Dope Queens” a podcast by Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson that focuses on sex, romance, and race. Robinson is also known for her book “You Can’t Touch My Hair.” I have to mention Ava Duvernay, activist and famous female director of works such as 13th, Selma, and Queen Sugar. She is also directing an upcoming heist movie starring Lupita Nyong’o and Rihanna, based off a tweet. Surprisingly, Nev Schulman from MTV’s Catfish; he is woke as hell. Using Attn: he brings light to untapped issues and chronicles his household’s reversed gender roles. Both of VICE’s I.D. and Broadly. cover mental health, women’s rights, race, the gender spectrum, and the lgbtq+ community. Rachel Bloom, the EP and star of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, has quickly become a thought leader on nuanced mental health issues and lady stuff. Here’s a hilarious video she did for Vanity Fair about how being a lady boss is kinda weird.
Lastly, if you are too lazy to sit down and analyze what’s fake news or not (It happens, no shame! We have busy lives these days!) there are few people who can break it down for you. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver on HBO picks apart bills, weird U.S. laws, and keeps a keen watch of the current administration in a saga he calls, “Stupid Watergate.” Full Frontal with Samantha Bee on TBS does sort of the same, except with one of the ‘nastiest women’ in the business. I want Sam Bee to be my mom. Bill Nye Saves the World on Netflix is amazing, analytical, and very informative on so many topics in science right now, mainly climate change, rising tides, GMOS, psuedo-sciences, and the gender spectrum. It’s also weirdly satisfying to hear Bill Nye swear and hangout with cast mates Karlie Kloss and Desiigner. I’m obsessed.