The News and Its Sources


Every so often I see discussions on various blogs related to news sources. One person will adamantly claim a particular source is biased a certain way, while another person will just as adamantly claim the opposite.

Occasionally such dialogues can get rather “heated” as each person offers “proof” that their assessment of a particular news publication is the CORRECT one.

Much of one’s value judgement in these discussions is based on personal bias … although we tend to deny this and tell ourselves we’re viewing the topic from a purely neutral perspective. 😉

In any case, I came across this website awhile back and for me, it clearly lays out where the various news sources stand. I invite you to take a look. (I tend to think some of you may be a bit surprised.)

And don’t stop at just the listings … read on to the section: “How to Recognize Biased News Source” where it lists the characteristics that will help you make an informed determination.

Finally, this from the article’s closing:

Finding an unbiased newspaper or news source may seem like an impossible task. In part because humans are seldom able to have an open mind about something. 

And, most importantly, this …

Therefore, it is up to the public to read multiple news sources and different viewpoints before forming a judgment. 

Fact? Or Opinion?

From NYTimes Morning Briefing, 11/18/19 (via email):

“Now more than ever, the lines between fact-based reporting and opinionated commentary seem blurred for people,” said Evette Alexander, research director at a journalism foundation. “That means they trust what they are seeing less. They are feeling less informed.”

Details: According to one recent poll, 47 percent of Americans believe it’s difficult to know whether the information they encounter is true. About 60 percent say they regularly see conflicting reports about the same set of facts from different sources.

I think this is a very real problem in today’s political news environment. Unless people take the time — and make the effort — to read or listen to more than one source (even if it’s contrary to personal leanings), they are going to “swear” that what they’ve read or heard is 100% true and accurate.

And I daresay, nearly all of us are guilty. We tend to believe (and agree with) the sources that go along with our personal perspectives.

I admit it’s difficult to enter into the world of diametric information. It can often raise the blood pressure a notch or two. But if we truly want to judge a situation (or individual) without prejudice, it’s important to look at all sides.

As many have expressed, the news sources of today are greatly influenced by corporate dollars, which means they often focus on the events and happenings that will draw in the most readers/listeners. This is all the more reason why we need to consider all sources … even those with “low” ratings.

In one of my recent postings, I encouraged researching various news sources to determine how biased your favorite is. While you’re at it, take a look at the ones you find at the other end of the spectrum from yours. Most likely you won’t agree with their reporting, but it will help you to see and understand why your neighbors/friends/work associates disagree with your political views. And it just might open up an opportunity to share something they weren’t aware of. Perhaps you might even change their viewpoint!