Dear Hivemind, in the past you've provided me with excellent recommendations for my more frivolous interests: TV shows and make-up. (I was recently told I look "more beautiful than ever", and I have achieved nothing all summer thanks to mainlining Luther, Orphan Black, Arrested Development, and about fifty other series, so give yourselves a big pat on the back for all your help with my skin and sloth.) Since the autumn always makes me feel like I should be a More Serious Person and a Better Citizen, this time I'm asking for food for thought.
I'm completely and woefully ignorant of the world's happenings, to the point of struggling to even begin catching up because I don't know where to start. What are your favourite publications, text or spoken word but preferably available digitally, on current affairs?
To give you a better idea for what I'm looking for, some thoughts. I'm particularly interested in European and North American issues, but would like something with a global coverage, too, as I'm worried I'm getting a very one-sided narrative. I'd like publications accessible enough so that an ignoramus like me can understand them, but I'm also fed up with the standard newspaper websites and their tiny blurbs - I have my preferred website that I can browse for those, but I'm interested in more in-depth coverage that will actually give a context and background to events. I'm interested in politics, current affairs, education, and academia; sports I could not care less for, economics I only care about as far as it affects the world at large, and I have limited interests in culture (in the sense of fine arts). I probably won't have time to read anything on a daily basis and I'm more interested in getting a good idea of a few issues through "long-form" journalism than having a superficial awareness of everything. English is by far my strongest language, but part of my self-improvement project involves brushing up my German and French, so publications in those languages is welcome, too.
I know you're a media-savvy, whip-smart bunch, so I look forward to hearing your recommendations!