Where’s the truth…
By not being on social media sites, I have a choice in what I consume from a news perspective. I want sources that give me the data to form my opinion rather than get opinions framed as news. So this is what works for me:
- Use a web browser “incognito” mode so tracking cookies aren’t used. This will help prevent news shaping. I use a web browser called Duck Duck Go that helps prevent tracking data from being used. I highly recommend using it for a browser on your phone and the search engine on your desktop. Once google has some history on you, the shaping algorithms will take hold quickly.
- I use multiple sources. If I watch CNN, I also try to watch Fox News and so on. It helps to see the different perspectives and the spin applied on all sides.
- For any of the “news” sites, I first look at the ad’s that I’m bombarded with. I want to determine right off the bat how the site makes money, and what generates the most revenue (typically its the product you see most of). They will usually not tell you directly, but you’ll get a sense of why they want you to buy while you stay on the site.
- I use Axios; they are trying to be a news source with little spin. You can see their mission statement here: https://www.axios.com/about/ They tell you how they gather information, how it’s gathered and qualified, and how they make money. Most of the content is short and concise with little fluff. I appreciate the attempt.
- I use allsides.com frequently. allsides is an aggregate site that tried to rate news stories as right, left, and center. It’s a good site to get an honest perspective on things. Their take is no news is unbiased, so they show you how. There was an exciting science project from Middle Schooler where they looked at bias in google search engine using data from allsides. More detail on the science project is located at:
- Is the content focused on the subject, and is the opinion kind? If the content attacks a person rather than a position, it’s typically because the position they are trying to make is weak and doesn’t hold up well on its own.
I’m sure I can keep rambling, but the above list encompasses most of what I do. Let me know if you have better methods!