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 so I can form my own opinion, rather than get opinions that are 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 that’s applied on all sides.
- For any of the “news” sites, I first look at the ad’s that I’m bombarded with first. 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 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 specifically how they gather information, how it’s gathered and qualified, and how they make money. Most of the content is short and consise 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 a honest perspective on things. Their take is no news is unbiased so they show you how. There was an interesting science project from Middle Schooler where they looked as 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 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 it’s 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!