The other night we watched Trevor Noah being interviewed. As you probably know, he’s leaving The Daily Show to pursue new projects. As expected, the topic of politics and the news came up. He talked about some of his views and mentioned his team of fact-checkers. It reminded me of an interview years ago with Jon Stewart when he hosted the show. He too talked about his staff of fact-checkers whose job it was to not only check facts but to scour news sources, many smaller and not widely known, to confirm validity and to find out more details and background information on stories. While The Daily Show is on Comedy Central and its main goal is to provide laughter, it became (and maybe still is?) the main news source for many people.
I don’t know about you, but I do not have a team of fact-checkers. This means I have to discern for myself whether the news I’m reading or watching is true. I would like to know how others get their news and how they know that it’s accurate? These are not rhetorical questions. I truly want to know. They are also not partisan questions. With so much disinformation swirling around, and sadly much of it taking hold as truth, I want to know how smart everyday people discern what is true, factual, and unbiased news? Actually, I don’t know if unbiased is a standard anymore. We all have our biases and with 24-hour news cycle cable shows, biases are obvious. Paradoxically, the show whose byline is “fair and balanced” is the least fair and balanced and is extremely biased.
I’ll tell you where I get my news. I’m a channel surfer. While I probably stay longest on CNN and MSNBC, I surf around. I used to watch the PBS News Hour regularly but find I don’t stay on that show as long as in the past. Occasionally, I click on Fox to see what they’re saying. It is always hard to believe how different their takes and perspectives are to the stations I regularly watch. As far as newspapers, I mostly read NY Times and periodically will check out my local newspaper. I also follow some small blogs and news sources on-line. I’m also an avid reader so if there’s a topic I find interesting, I’ll get a book on it from the library and read about it in more detail.
Again, how are you handling the volume of news thrown at you constantly (other than disengaging) and what is your barometer for truth? I was just thinking that if I question something I’m reading or want more information about it, I rarely take the time to follow-up and contact that source for more information or clarity. I want to start doing that. I was just saying to a friend this morning that I think it’s time we write letters to the editors and be more interactive with media. I, for one, don’t want to look back on this time and wish I would have been more aware of what’s really going on and been more vocal!
Thanks in advance for your input!
4 responses to “Where do you get your news?”
As someone who once worked in a newsroom I have a fairly unique perspective on the news biz, although a lot has changed since my days in that field. I, too, try to utilize multiple sources for my news. I read the local newspaper regularly and read online editions of national newspapers. I also will watch TV news, although not as much local news. I try to find sources who are balanced, without editorializing. Reuters and BBC are usually reliable. It is becoming more difficult to find unbiased, or even less biased news, and to get out of our echo chambers. We all are looking for that dopamine rush when reading what we agree with, but I do recommend looking at differing viewpoints and sites, as difficult as that may be. Try to be an informed citizen. And remember you can challenge the idea without challenging the person delivering the message.
I watch a lot of Trevor Noah. I think the main thing with news is to not listen to just one blindly.
Thanks for your response!
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