Updated: Feb 26
How biased is your news source?
How factual is your news source?
How much do you diversify what you watch, read, and listen to?
Here's 3 key pieces I try to incorporate into my own news consumption:
1) Fact-based News: I try to stay in the "fact reporting - middle bias" category of the chart above for the majority of the information I consume. For me, that mainly includes NPR, AP News, BBC, Politico, and ProPublica.
2) Podcasts: I'm a huge fan of podcasts, a few examples being Think Like An Economist, Worldly, VICE News Reports, Unlocking Us, and various Ted Talks. I listen to them while I bake, drive, shower, walk my dogs, workout... pretty much any time that I don't feel like jamming to music. Podcasts can give listeners a deeper dive into current topics and issues because they are longer and more complex (experts, interviewees, etc.) than most news segments you'd see from MSM sources.
3) Critical Thinking: When an important story releases, I check sources from both sides of the bias chart to see what folks on both sides of the aisle are saying. I follow subreddits and social media profiles that are against my personal preferences so that I can see discussions outside my bubble and come to my own conclusions. I am critical of MSM sources from either side, because they have both proven they're not always fact-based 100% of the time. Interpreting the ever-changing cycle of news today requires a lot of critical thinking and analysis, and even when trying to be cautious you can be easily duped by misinformation or a believable Onion article.
Trump's labeling of every critical news source "fake news" has caused a lot distrust from the general public in what they can or can't believe. I think this has caused many Americans to stick to only the sources they're familiar with, creating this further divide we are seeing today.
We need a system that will restore credibility and regulate what is stamped "news", that incorporates fact checking, regulates and separates entertainment and opinions versus news, and enacts large fines to sources who repeatedly claim to be news (but are indeed not rooted in fact at all). Similarly to how we regulated alcohol, drug, and cereal commercials seen by various ages and shown at different times, we need to regulate the information that our citizens believe to be real, newsworthy information. If we don't, disinformation will be detrimental to our democracy.