Considering the harsh economic realities facing the typical online newspaper sites, it’s very easy to think that the only places that you should collect news from are social media platforms. After all, these websites seem to be going out of business. It seems like they have all the incentive in the world to twist or bend the truth.
In fact, some previously well-respected and world renowned news platforms have been caught bending their headline’s truth factor all the way to the breaking point. What’s going on?
Well, understand that your skepticism is more than understandable. After all, as the old saying goes, burn me once, shame on you, burn me twice, shame on me.
People get gun shy the moment they realize that they have been reading and sharing misleading news headlines on social media. Talk about broadcasting your ignorance and your political bias to the world.
These are people you respect, these are people you care about, and guess what? They have a front row seat to your ignorance, courtesy of misleading headlines that you have all too eagerly and all too unthinkingly shared on social media. It’s like you publicized your personal shame and embarrassment.
This is why it’s really important to focus on the essence of real news websites. If you realize that they’re not there to simply give corroborative or supporting evidence for your existing biases, you go a long way in processing news the way it should be processed. However, if you look at news as simply just a source of verifiable facts that should somehow, some way, support your existing opinion, then all bets are off.
It would be very easy for you to be manipulated. It would be very easy for you to come to conclusions that you thought are well-argued and are supported by hard objective facts. It turns out that you are essentially just being a meat puppet being manipulated by the whole apparatus of editors, newspaper organizations, as well as reporters on the ground.
If you want true objectivity, you cannot outsource it to somebody else. You cannot delegate it to people who claim to have your best interests in mind. Instead, you have to roll up your sleeves and proactively jump in with both feet. This means comparing news sources and making sure that the websites that you go to simply focus on collecting facts.
Now, it is very easy to think that fact ‘collection’ is pretty easy, straightforward, and simple. None of these are true. Journalists are under tremendous pressure to quickly spot certain ‘reportable’ or newsworthy facts and chuck the rest out. This is a problem because it is too tempting to simply report the facts the exact same way as other reporters. Some sort of ‘group think’ arises and it is really hard to break out of this because your frame of reference changed drastically after you defer to how others define or position the story.
They are few and far between, but they can be found. And the more you find these websites and the more you include them in your daily news consumption habits, the better off you would be. You definitely would come off as a more informed and intelligent person.