We’re all busy. Hectic schedules and technology practically run our lives, so here are nine easy ways to make them work in your favor and become more globally aware.

1. Twitter
It’s not all celebrities and witty screenwriters. Worldwide news organizations like CNN, BBC, and the Financial Times host Twitter accounts. Follow them or have their updates sent directly to your phone. Keeping an eye on worldwide trending topics can also help alert you if news is breaking.

2. Google Alerts
More along the lines of a “target acquired” approach, Google Alerts allows you to plug any phrase, country, word, or person into the endless Google engine and have the new results delivered to your inbox whenever you’d like.

3. RSS Feeds
Most sites these days will have an RSS Feed option. Signing up for it allows you to have the most important news right on your tablet or computer without having to search the internet.

4. Global News Sites
Go directly to the source. Sites like BBC News and CNN allow you to see the most important articles around the globe and then divide them by continent and country.

5. Magazines
Political magazines tend to take the occasionally dull topic of foreign affairs and make them digestible for larger audiences. However, because they tend to be monthly issues, you only get the greatest hits.

6. Council on Foreign Relations Daily Briefs
Delivered to your inbox every morning, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) gives you a summary of the most important events around the globe, analyzes them, and explains why what they’re giving you is important. CFR tends to be nonpartisan, gathering analysis from both sides of the aisle.

7. News Television/Radio Channels
Turn that remote to your favorite news channel of choice and have it serenade you with factual goodies while working the evening away. Not a morning person? Turn on the news while making coffee or getting ready to help get the juices flowing.

8. Books
Transport the written word to your iPad or tablet and take it with you on the morning commute, or take a mental health break while waiting for a meeting. If non-fiction books aren’t your thing, try historical fiction like Khaled Hosseini’s novel, “The Kite Runner.”

9. Newspapers
They’re still alive! Subscribe to a newspaper and have it on your phone or tablet whenever you have time.

– Hilary Koss

Sources: CFR, Amazon, Financial Times, BBC News

On November 16, global poverty had a unique light shed on it thanks to journalism students from around the globe. As part of a “pop-up newsroom,” students in the UK, U.S., Taiwan and India hit their local streets armed with their journalism training and social media outlets to report on those who experience poverty directly.

Politicians usually hold the platform for discussing poverty but they are rarely the ones who actually experience it. Instead, the journalism students went through locally-based organizations and interviewed both victims and combatants to gather on-the-ground experiences of poverty and the policies meant to address it. David Baines, who led the UK side of the project, stated one of the goals was, “to make the complexities transparent rather than trying to simplify things,” as is often done by politicians.

The pop-up newsroom idea began at California State University Northridge (located in Northern Los Angeles). As technology changes the way we can access information, Dr. Melissa Wall (a journalism professor at CSUN) wanted to find a way to utilize the immediacy of social media to inspire positive changes. By appealing to a younger population, the pop-up newsroom allows important issues, like global poverty, to reach people of all ages and of all interests.

November 16 marked the first time the experimental pop-up news reporting went international. The universities that participated have a number of international students and the fact that they were reporting from different countries made this a truly global event.

Not only are the students participating in an innovative journalism experience, they are adequately trained to do so. The Asian College of Journalism in Chennai, India is one of the most prestigious in the region and covering inequality is a requirement for all students. At Newcastle University, UK, the students prepared for this project by studying the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s guidelines for good reporting on poverty.

Reported topics ranged from art, health, feminist issues and economic inequality. Using the hashtag #livepoverty, students reported their stories on Twitter while in the field, as it was happening. By encouraging students to post immediately, the project emphasized that global poverty is a constant force that doesn’t go to sleep at night, but rather hangs over its victims 24 hours a day. With participants like the UK and U.S., the pop-up news stories proved that poverty is experienced even in the wealthiest countries in the world.

Alessandra Luppi
Sources: Pop Up News, Rebel Mouse
Photo: WNYC