Part of my job as a law professor is to model to students what a transactional attorney does. As part of that, I include in my syllabus a list of things media that they ought to consume in order to understand the world a business lawyer functions in. The list is not exhaustive, by any means, nor should they necessarily read or listen to all of it, but it provides a slice of intelligent commentary on the world I’m teaching them how to enter.
If you were preparing people to do what you do, what resources would you recommend? [fn1] And, if you do what I prepare my students to do, what necessary resources am I tragically leaving out? [fn2]
- Wall Street Journal. Depending on your politics, you may detest or you may embrace the Opinions section, but the Journal’s business reporting is superb. (Note that it has a paywall around most of its content; you either need to subscribe or hunt down hard copies.)
- Financial Times. The FT is making real inroads in the U.S. Unfortunately, it, too, has an annoying paywall—I believe you can look at 10 articles a month for free, if you register.
- New York Times business section [and, of course, the rest of the paper, too]. Of course, it, too, just instituted its paywall
- Marketplace. You can listen weeknights at 6:30 pm on WBEZ or you can download the podcast. I listen to the podcast every morning on the El. (Website at http://marketplace.publicradio.org/. Note that I’m referring to Marketplace, not Marketplace Money, although MM is a great personal finance show.)
- Planet Money. Tuesdays and Fridays have new podcasts. The reporters make finance and economics approachable without dumbing it down. The website is at http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/.
- Felix Salmon. Felix Salmon is my favorite finance/business blogger. If he’s not your style, you can at least use him to find other finance/business bloggers. http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/
- TaxProf. Professor Caron collects tons and tons of tax-related news. http://taxprof.typepad.com/
- TaxVox. I discovered this in early August 2010: it’s pretty good tax analysis by the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution. http://taxvox.taxpolicycenter.org/
- Finally, I use my Twitter account to link to interesting business and tax stories I see floating around. You can find me at http://twitter.com/smbrnsn
[fn1] What does this have to do with Mormonism? Not a whole lot, probably, but I’ll be away from my computer for most of today, and I figure this is relatively uncontroversial and the comments should make for some great reading. And I have to hit my numbers if I want a chance at my T&S elf-shoe-and-pet-jaguar bonus. Moreover, I’m interested in the worlds that Mormons inhabit, and what it is that we use to navigate those worlds. I think those resources we find necessary or helpful are one of the tools we use.
You’ve noticed, of course, that I don’t include any books on my syllabus. That’s mostly because my purpose is to suggest resources that are relatively easy to digest but that provide significant current information. Plus, I don’t have to make significant revisions from year to year.
[fn2] Other stuff I read on a regular basis but that isn’t in my syllabus:
- Tax Notes. I believe a subscription will run you over $1,000 a year but, if your institution subscribes (or you have access to LEXIS), there’s not a better source of tax news and analysis. (I don’t actually know why this isn’t on my syllabus–I may have to move it there.)
- The Atlantic. I think this is the best magazine in print or online, frankly. I read it religiously, and follow both @TheAtlantic and @TheAtlanticWire on Twitter.
- Time Out Chicago. When we lived in New York and had no kids, we got Time Out New York so that we knew what was going on in the city. Then, when we had kids in New York, we still subscribed to know what was going on in the city. But when we moved to Chicago, our Time Out New York became much less helpful, so we switched to the city-appropriate version of the magazine.
- Newsweek. I know what you’re thinking, especially if you’re as snooty as I am (or you’ve seen it since The Daily Beast bought it out). Some decent articles, but it’s okay at best. Still, it was a free gift when we renewed our WBEZ membership, so Newsweek has another nine months or so to sell me on renewing my subscription.
- Slate and Salon. I really like How the World Works and Moneybox. I could care less about many of the other features. But they renew their stories and articles on a regular basis, and there tend to be at least two or three decent articles per site per day.
- Parts of the Bloggernacle.
Other media consumption that isn’t on my syllabus
- Podcasts: I listen to a few other podcasts, including This American Life (a survey of life as a modern upper-middle-class American) The Bowery Boys (New York City history), On the Media, and Sound Opinions.
- TV (well, technically Hulu): Community and Modern Family. Plus Burn Notice and Psych when they’re on.