THE news cycle these days can feel overwhelming. It seems like every day there is a new scandal, a new outrage, a new celebrity feud.

At the moment, it feels like the only big stories worth talking about are Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby and Prince Harry in the courts, which confirms my deep-seated opinion that this country is a bit too obsessed with celebrity culture.

People are quick to criticise “the media” for not covering certain stories or for focusing too much on trivial matters.

Given these past few weeks, it is hard to blame them … But I do find this criticism a bit easy.

What many fail to realise is that there is not just one monolithic “media” entity. There are countless sources of news and information out there, each with their own perspective, biases, and priorities.

Of course, it is important to stay informed about the major events and issues of the day and mainstream news outlets play a crucial role in shaping public discourse and holding those in power accountable.

But it is also important to recognise that there is so much more out there than just the headlines on Sky News or the front page of the tabloids.

Honestly, you don’t have to religiously follow the ups and downs of the news cycle if you don’t want to. Even as a journalist, I certainly don’t.

There is a wealth of creativity and diversity in the world of journalism, from independent bloggers and podcasters to niche publications and community newspapers.

These voices may not have the same reach or resources as the major news outlets, but they often offer unique perspectives and insights that can be hard to find elsewhere.

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And in an age where trust in traditional media is at an all-time low, these alternative sources of news and information can be a valuable counterbalance to the narratives of the mainstream media, which sometimes, let’s be honest, look boringly similar.

As citizens, we have the power to shape the news landscape by seeking out and supporting journalism from voices that are underrepresented or marginalised.

We can choose to follow independent journalists and bloggers on social media, subscribe to community newspapers and magazines, and donate to nonprofit news organisations that prioritise investigative reporting and accountability journalism.

By doing so, we can help ensure that the news we consume reflects the full diversity of our society and that important stories are not overlooked or ignored.

Many journalists are taking matters into their own hands and creating their own platforms and opportunities. As a Black journalist with a non-French name and working-class background, I know first-hand the challenges of breaking into the mainstream media.

But I also know that I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t taken the initiative to create my own opportunities and platform my own perspective.

There’s my blog – though it has unfortunately disappeared into the depths of the World Wide Web – my podcast Écosse Toujours – which sadly, I don’t have the time to produce as often as I want anymore – and my latest adventure, La Revue Écossaise.

This is not to say that nobody has ever given me an opportunity – quite the contrary. But many of these opportunities wouldn’t have materialised had I not realised – after a few years of struggling professionally and financially – that I couldn’t wait for someone else to just open the door to my dream career.

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I had to create my own door, my own opportunities, and my own platform. And I am not alone in this. Many journalists from under-represented backgrounds are turning to independent media and social media to share their stories and perspectives.

Of course, not all alternative sources of news and information are created equal. There are plenty of conspiracy theorists, grifters, and ideologues out there who peddle misinformation and propaganda under the guise of “independent journalism”.

It is important to be discerning and critical when evaluating news and information, and to seek out multiple perspectives and sources before forming an opinion.

But ultimately, my point is not that we should reject the mainstream media or dismiss the importance of professional journalism.

Rather, it is to recognise that there is a vast and diverse ecosystem of news and information out there, and that we, as citizens, have the power to shape it and support the voices that we believe are important.

By doing so, we can help ensure that the news we consume is not just informative, but also reflective of the full range of human experiences and perspectives.

Yes, this is hard work. We would all rather be passive and wait for our perfect curation of news to land on our phones, TV screens, radios, and letterboxes. Especially because we all have information fatigue.

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There is so much news everywhere, and it is easy to feel drowned under the sheer quantity of news, so the last thing we want is to go seek more.

But we can be empowered, as citizens, as media consumers, to support what actually stimulates and elevates us.

We can choose to seek out and support diverse voices and perspectives, whether it is through independent media, community newspapers, or non-profit news organisations.

As a journalist, I try to do this as much as I can, not just because I have a vested interest in journalism being sustainable and supported, but because, for my sanity, I need it. I need to hear from voices that are different from my own, to learn about experiences and perspectives that I might not otherwise encounter. And I know that I am not alone in this.

We can see the importance of supporting diverse voices and perspectives in action with La Revue Écossaise, a publication that is only released twice a year, in stark contrast to the 24/7 news cycle.

Despite not having the resources of a major newspaper or magazine, we rely on the passion and support of our readers to continue publishing.

We do this because we believe it matters, and because our readers tell us how much they appreciate sitting down with our features, interviews, and art, which challenge their preconceptions and encourage them to see Scotland in a new light, and to learn from Scotland.

In fact, our upcoming second issue will focus on how Scotland has inspired the world with its inventions, social experiments, literature, and ideas. We will be launching a crowdfunding campaign later this week to support this issue, which we believe will be even more impactful than our first.

Ultimately, the media landscape is complex and multifaceted, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution to the challenges we face.

But by recognising the importance of diverse voices and the role of professional journalism, as well as by supporting independent and community media, we can help ensure that the news we consume is accurate, responsible, and reflective of the full range of human experiences and perspectives.

And in doing so, we can also help support a more sustainable and inclusive media ecosystem, one that is responsive to the needs and interests of all citizens.