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News sources: The proof, the whole proof, and nothing but the proof

news sources social media

What a world it is! Image courtesy of geralt, pixabay.

Ladies and gentlemen, that ancient curse seems to have come true. We are living in interesting times. (!)

I’m struggling with which news sources to believe these days and who is trustworthy. One source chooses inflammatory words that seem designed to provoke shares of misinformation, while someone else addresses the same issue more calmly and provides a more analytical view of the situation.

My Facebook friends have heated debates with one another about what is right and what is wrong, to the point where I seriously considered leaving Facebook. (Although I would miss the funny, cute stuff like my newest baby cousin learning how to giggle…..awwww.)

Maybe it’s a side effect of the class I took last year that I am now much more aware of a writer’s bias. Some news sources that I’m reading have writers that seem so biased, you can cut through that bias with a chain saw.

I know, I know, I know, it’s the Web and we can’t fix everything. I was very aware of a writer’s bias before, but now I’m looking far harder at who wrote something and what they have to gain by me reading their writing. “Are they backing up their statements with actual proof?” is a question I’m asking myself more often these days. In an era where someone’s reputation can be damaged by a mere tweet or Facebook post (just google “social media disasters” sometime), it boggles my mind that people aren’t more careful because the Internet doesn’t forget.

There was an excellent news article I read on BBC News, where the writer provided a point by point rebuttal of an accusation. To my mind, that earned my trust because I could see the writer clearly went to considerable effort.

In another news source I read, the writer discussed the appointment of a government official. The writer never mentioned how well that official was qualified for the role, that he had vast experience in the area he would be leading, and that he was well-known to both his allies and non-allies. Sheesh. *rolls eyes*

In the search for which news sources to believe, what are your standards? Who are the news sources you trust the most and why? Let’s get an intellectual discussion going. (Reminder: please keep it civil, my blogger friends.)

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