For years I snickered privately about the fantasy world that Fox News creates, inspired by but often not based on facts or reality. A massive serving of humble pie fell onto my head on Nov 8 when Hillary Clinton, overwhelmingly favored by every major news outlet I read, did not win the election.
Echo chamber much?
Yes, and I didn’t even realize it.
For the past 5 weeks, I’ve been asking myself:
- Where I am getting my news?
- Is that news based on fact, or a complete enough view of reality?
- Who can I trust to report the news to me?
My main source of election news was The New York Times. But there’s a lot of world outside of New York, and I see now the dearth of NYT reporting this year in those rust belt states that decided the election. For that and a couple other reasons, I canceled my NYT subscription.
Then I turned a critical eye to the news stories I saw on social media. Huffington Post articles felt insanely melodramatic in the immediate post-election days. I somehow wound up getting a daily email summary of Daily Kos headlines, and let me tell you! I’d click through to a story that was far less sinister than the overly sensationalized headline.
This task of finding the best news outlets for factual, big-picture-reality based news is harder than I thought it would be. I want objectivity, but if there is a human reporter involved, there will always be a subjective slant. I want a news source that is not beholden to corporate or political interests, but have no idea how such a source would receive adequate funding to do the in-depth investigative reporting I want (are there enough people like me who will patronize it?). And as I’m vetting news outlets, how much fact-checking can I reasonably do, as one individual citizen with a full-time job that is not in media or journalism, just to make informed opinions and decisions about the world?
Where do you get your news? How well do you think they report news that is factual, objective, and comprehensive?