Reading news is better than watching it (you have more control over what news you get, and you are not so gripped by visual images). Reading a magazine is better than a newspaper (they have more time to develop stories, they have more distance in time, so tend to avoid covering things that are only temporarily newsworthy, and they tend to be more accurate because they have more time for fact-checking).
The best news magazine I've ever read is called The Week. Check out their web site here. No, they aren't paying me to say this (although I wish they were). It is just a darn good magazine because they cover, as they put it, "all you need to know about everything that matters." That's their byline and they really do a great job living up to it. They describe themselves well:
THE WEEK is a spirited newsweekly that distills the best of news, opinion, and ideas from the U.S. and international media.
Every week, THE WEEK's editors scour hundreds of newspapers, magazines, and Web sites (U.S. and foreign), searching for the most intriguing stories and the most thoughtful commentary—left, right, and everything in between. Covering the entire political waterfront. The best of what they find gets reported—concise, intelligent, crisp.
THE WEEK's format is straightforward yet information-packed. Its focus is broad: U.S. and international news, the best opinion columns from here and abroad, health and science, books, film, the arts, leisure activities. Besides bringing readers up to date on the world scene, THE WEEK reports on what the smartest people are saying about it.
It's a fast read, and that's a good thing. THE WEEK's readers actually read the magazine cover-to-cover each week. It's designed that way.
Common-sense style and no jump edit give THE WEEK its fast-paced flow. Easy-access blurbs and insets accompany the in-depth pieces. Nothing gets more ink than it warrants; no story is too small.
Fifty percent of the edit focuses on reporting on the news-big issues and big opinions. Arts, leisure, and business get the other 50 percent. Things overlap, of course.
If you're looking for a way to stay informed without being upset unnecessarily, I don't think you can do better than The Week. If you think you've found a better source, however, I would love to hear about it.