As a self-professed news junkie, my morning routine has long included reading the local daily newspaper and watching local and national TV news shows. With the onset of social media, this routine has expanded to checking my newsfeeds for updates from credible news sources, no #fakenews for me.

In recent months I have advanced my casual morning news intake by dedicating myself to a serious morning brain exercise process. Every weekday morning, my TV is tuned in to #NewsOneNow on #TVOne.

NewsOne Now is a daily hour-long news show hosted by #RolandMartin. To my knowledge, it is the only such news show targeting  news of interest to African Americans. It runs on an African American owned cable network and the host is a much respected broadcast journalist. Martin is very firm with making sure the news is presented in a balanced way, thus the show can be of interest to more than just the target demographic. Martin will, without hesitation, challenge his panelist to only speak facts.

My NewsOne Now process is serious business. I go beyond just watching. My full attention is on the show, with my #Twitter account up and my fingers on the keys ready to capture great soundbites. I'm in the Midwest, so the 6 am start time for the show is a bit early. But it is well worth my early wake up! In addition to being able to start my day with key news from trusted sources, I'm able to strengthen my communications skills as I tweet throughout the show.

I have always believed knowledge is a form of wealth that can’t be taken from anyone. As a print journalist and PR professional, writing is a key skill that I am always working to improve. My morning brain exercise routine with NewsOne Now helps me sharpen this skill by having a keen ear to relevant information and then rapidly conveying it via tweets. Being able to quickly synthesize information into 140 characters of meaningful content is not easily done. Of course the competitive part of me is always holding my breath waiting for my Twitter notifications to go off in continuous succession. This being a signal to me that I indeed captured a relevant point. Having the ‘Likes’ are good, but the ‘Retweet’s really give me an indication of my ability to grab the relevant soundbites. The real measure of my reach comes from looking at the Twitter analytics and seeing the number of ‘Impressions’. I do a mental happy dance on the mornings I get 10,000+ Impressions from a NewsOne Now tweet. This is not the norm, but I often get close.

My NewsOne Now tweets are not necessarily reflective of what I believe, but are instead information that I believe in that moment would be of interest to others.

As with any exercise routine, I am exhausted after watching NewsOne Now. But I am well-conditioned with my daily dose of news. Very much like physical exercise, if I happen to miss a day of watching NewsOne Now due to a schedule conflict, I feel off track and mentally weaker. I wonder what I missed, who was on the panel, what book did Martin feature and what key bits of news I will go without.

For my fellow news junkies, what is your morning news routine?