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How to read the news
http://pbs.org
Clark's post about CNN but really about sensationalist news got me thinking about how we should approach news today because certainly it is different than it was 10 or 20 years ago.

The heyday of the Newspaper is over. No longer will you meet a person who is so dedicated to "his paper." No longer will we be able to rely 100% on just one source of news. In fact, soon enough the historic concept of the newspaper will no longer exist. We won't wake up to it on our front porch and we won't sift through it over morning coffee at the kitchen table. We've already embarked into a multimedia universe where news is spread across so many different places, every imaginable surface except the newspaper.

So how do we as efficacious people learn to mold our newshungriness with all these new forms of media? How can we find the meaningful information and how do we know something is important when we read it? I was at a concert last fall for Immortal Technique, a very outspoken and political rapper. Afterwards he talked to his fans and my friend asked him where he gets his news. (He is radically anti-media and has attacked fox news and most other news outlets in numerous songs) In answer to my friend Tech said that he reads from all sources fox news included. He collects every angle on the same story from every imaginable source and then makes his own conclusions. He highlighted PBS as one of the most trustworthy.

My friend took this advice as something altogether new and innovative. But really this is how people have always read news most effectively; by comparing news sources we can better distinguish biased material. The only difference with all these new forms of media is that now we have more availability to different sources and thus more amateur reporting. Journalism isn't dying so much as it's losing its professionalism. Now any man, woman, or child can report from the front lines and as newsreaders we are forced to pull from multiple sources if we want to gather the best conclusions.

So really, we as the readers are lucky (not so much the classic journalists) we have such access to news today. Now we can engage in active news reading with just the help of a search engine. The only tricky part comes in identifying the bullshit, which is ever more prevalent.

 I wonder if maybe here on thinqon we can compile a list of some of the better sites for gathering trustworthy news.

I particularly like PBS for international and political news and Scientific American for the obvious.
I'm a fan of Talking Points Memo. It has a liberal slant, but I trust it.
I too like TPM, also the NYT's and FT.
ProPublica.com (Journalism in the public interest)
RealityCHex.com
Factchex.org
BBC.com (world news)

Great idea, thanks.
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Latest Post: April 7, 2011 at 7:05 AM
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