Katherine - posted on 03/09/2012 ( 1 mom has responded )
Watch the news. This seems simple, but it often isn't. News is becoming more and more biased to all different interests. The safest way to make sure you're getting the whole story is to watch several different stations. Don't limit yourself to the nightly news, watch 24 hour news stations as often as you can.
Make sure you get a paper. Reading your local paper is great for staying current on issues close to you. Try to also get a paper from your closest metro area, as they often report on your state. Finally, subscribe to nationally circulated paper like the New York Times. With these you can get updates on whats happening across the country and often around the world.
Subscribe to news and opinion magazines. Once you're up on all the issues, it's nice to get a broader idea of them. A great way to do this is by reading news magazines, like Time, The Nation or Newsweek. These have many opinion essays, and articles that go into issues in more depth.
Stay balanced. Try not to close your mind to other sources. Even if you think the information you're getting is skewed, pay attention to the spin in order to understand more
Read books by top officials, pundits, and those in the know. Now more than ever the figures you see on the news and in politics are writing books. These are great to get their side of the story and an inside view of what they do. They may not always be riveting, but they're great for keeping informed.
Check news sites as often as you can. News sites are constantly being updated and usually have many more stories than you get on TV or even in a paper. Again, try and stay balanced with these. You can also sign up for tickers that pop up on your computer screen that show you the top stories. Email alerts are also good.
Talk with other informed people. Debate is a great way to test out your opinions. You can always learn something from a good debate, even if your opponent's views are completely different from yours. If you can't find people around you, join a forum to discuss issues. Most news sites offer forums or blogs that you can join and debate with other users. Reading blogs of regular citizens is also a great way to see other sides of the issues.