Welcome to “Read State,” a recurring TM Daily Post feature in which we ask noteworthy Texans—from writers and singers to athletes and politicians—what they’re reading. Today we bring you the reading habits of John Burnett, the roving NPR correspondent based in Austin who has reported from more than 25 countries.

{media number=1 align=left}Photo by Steve Barrett{/media}My farflung beat includes Texas, the surrounding states, and the Texas-Mexico borderlands. When I first started with NPR 25 years ago, I subscribed to about five daily newspapers and, additionally, I would trek to the public library every few weeks to look at even more regional and national newspapers to see what was going on. I didn’t mind it. I love newspapers—I love how they feel, how they smell, and how they sound. The Austin American-Statesman and New York Times slap our driveway every morning. I cannot begin the day without a cup of strong coffee and newsprint in my hands.  

The Internet is sorcery. It’s made it so much easier to keep up with my region and the world. Everyday I read online newspapers in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Brownsville, El Paso, Ciudad Juárez, and Santa Fe, as well as the Texas Tribune and TM Daily Post (my newest addition).

If I’m having a second cup of coffee I step out into the second tier: online newspapers in Laredo, Nuevo Laredo, Monterrey, Mexico City, New Orleans, Little Rock, Oklahoma City, and a bunch of small-to-middling Texas newspapers from the Big Bend Sentinel to the Waco Tribune-Herald to the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. I also check in with the Texas Observer and Texas Watchdog, Grits for Breakfast, BurkaBlog, Stratfor, and Prensa Libre in Guatemala City (I used to live there). I don’t read that many blogs, and I do not follow tweets unless I’m working on a specific story where they are helpful. And, of course, I pick up the Onion at my gym.