News aggregation website that's actually useful?
May 8, 2016 7:32 AM   Subscribe

Is there a news website that focuses on news most people can use right now? No Kardashians, but also no lost girls, pets, or polar bears? Focusing on the top ten things that statistically kill people, and no mentions of Ebola or Zika? Focusing on best practices for managing your checkbook, and no mentions of Brexit or Grexit or deficit reform? Focusing on ways to deal with depression and substance abuse, while ignoring Sasquatch and the latest crazy dashcam footage from Russia?

Like most of you, I'd like to shorten and optimize my browsing time. I like the general helpfulness of, but I wanted something less techy and more broadly useful, to everyone.

Does such a news aggregator exist?
posted by Techbear to Work & Money (9 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
You might be better off building your own collection of feeds using Feedly or a competitor.

The topics you reference aren't "news". E.g., why look for a news site for help on checkbook balancing?

It's safe to assume that any site that uses headlines that begin with numbers is not a legitimate news source but a clickbait machine.
posted by justcorbly at 7:44 AM on May 8, 2016 [14 favorites]

Reddit. No seriously. There are tons of well-moderated and incredibly useful subreddits on DIY, personal finance, personal growth, mental health, etc. Subscribe and you will get the best posts on your front page.

If you don't want to signup and subscribe to specific subreddits, you can still very easily access your favorite subreddits as a collection by concatenating their names in the url (e.g.

List of useful subreddits * More list * More
posted by Foci for Analysis at 8:21 AM on May 8, 2016 [11 favorites]

I'll second Foci for Analysis' recommendation. For better or for worse (though mostly worse), reddit really is the Front Page of the Internet now. With a little bit of work, starting by unsubscribing from /r/politics and any default subreddit that alleges to be funny or allows image macros, you can make reddit a useful and tolerable experience. All your other options will require a lot more manual curation.
posted by tobascodagama at 8:56 AM on May 8, 2016

Is there a reason you aren't reading the NY Times? They send me an e-mail every morning with the top headlines in each of their major sections.
posted by mmascolino at 9:31 AM on May 8, 2016 [2 favorites]

Nthing justcorbly's aggregation suggestion. I use NewsBlur for that, which allows me to add RSS feeds, follow / comment on other users' shared stories, and train the system based on what I do and don't like to read about. Took a little bit of time to track down the feeds to begin with, but now that I've got it set up it's exactly what you describe.
posted by zebra at 9:56 AM on May 8, 2016 [3 favorites]

I *love* the Quartz Daily Brief. It's similar to The Skimm, which I found way to low-brow and out of date (headlines 3-4 days after they happen?). Quartz allows you to set your region so you get news relevant to where you live, and while it's somewhat financially focused, they also have really interesting articles about, for example, tech, human interest, relationships and more. Their stories are also fairly short and to the point so it's easy to get caught up.

I also like Refinery29's app but it's definitely more pop-culture and entertainment oriented than newsy.
posted by Brittanie at 2:05 AM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

Yeah, Feedly. Subscribe to the news sources you like. I subscribe to The Atlantic, The Economist, FiveThirtyEight, NPR, the New Yorker, etc. Many publishers have feeds for specific topics (e.g., politics, scitech, etc.), if you don't want to subscribe to the kitchen-sink feeds.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 5:33 AM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

This doesn't meet your customization requirements, but NPR News generally doesn't cover celebrity gossip, viral videos or generally engage in clickbait articles or scare tactics. They do cover things like Zika, but to the extent that it's news and not to scare you into watching/listening/clicking more.
posted by cnc at 5:12 PM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]

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