Making Sense of Information

Like Brittney M., the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is scroll through my emails, messages, and the news. I check various news sites multiple times a day as I like to stay up with what is going on in the world. As such, over the past number of years, I have become fully aware of needing to determine what is real, fake, or biased.

Like many other negative things in this world right now, I blame Trump!! Just kidding. While kind of, but not really. There is no doubt that the Don shifted the information landscape with is campaigns of disinformation and compulsive patterns of blatant lying. (By this point, you are probably picking up on my bias towards him and his cronies. Oh well, my blog, my thoughts right?!?!)

We have spoken a number of times during this course about bias. It is human for us to lean a certain way on issues. I try to fully recognize my political and worldview biases. Therefore, one of the most important things I do during my news checking each day is to visit a variety of sites, purposefully visiting sites that are on both sides of the spectrum. When it comes to international news, my go-tos are CNN and Fox News. While I try not to be too political, in today’s landscape I would definitely lean to the left. Therefore I identify with most of the views held by CNN. I do get frustrated with how left they can lean because I try to critically evaluate what they are reporting, and sometimes they definitely twist things to fit their narrative. Conversely, I usually have to force myself to look at Fox News. As far as American politics go, I just can’t get on the Conservative, right wing train. Due to my bias, I find all that they report on is things to make the Democrats and Biden look back. To be fair, that is all CNN did with Trump, but I find them to be more fair and accurate in what they report. Regardless, the point I’m making is that I think it is important to look at stories from both sides before deciding what to believe.

How CNN And FOX Are Undermining Journalism By Shamelessly Backing Their  Candidates - DKODING

This may seem like an easy way out, but to be honest the best way that I interpret and analyze the news is by using common sense. I feel like I am up to date on most major things happening in the world, so if I read something that seems a little strange my spidey senses go off. When this happens I do some further research, usually through internet searches. At this point I look for trusted sources…well known media outlets, educational institutions etc. If I can find a similar story on a number of outlets I usually trust that it is true.

8 thoughts on “Making Sense of Information

  1. Hi Chris! I appreciated your comments on trusting your spidey senses in combination with accessing a wide range of sources to verify. These are some strategies that I often use as well! Like Leah T., I find that I approach most news or information with some skepticism and a desire to verify what I am viewing and reading. I find that some people I know rely on only the skepticism and are very quick to call, “fake news,” on everything that they either don’t like or that doesn’t fit pre-conceived beliefs. Recently, I spoke with someone about the tanks moving on the trains. I looked this up on a variety of sources and found information stating that the tanks were going to be involved in the annual training exercises for the Canadian military. Yet, the person that I spoke to thought this was fake and that they were actually moving tanks to go and do . . . . . what I don’t know, but the person was certain it was ill-intentioned! I was unable to sway their thoughts otherwise. Anyway, thank you for sharing your strategies!!

  2. great blog I was just thinking about the “fake news” during writing my blog. I have always been cautious of things I heard from media sources such as TV, radio, and now the internet. I too always fact-check when I hear stories. My grandparents always told me while growing up “if it doesn’t concern you don’t worry about it”, however in this day and age, there are so many stories going around about the world I feel very concerned about and like to keep informed. I shared a story about a fake trade in my blog. I read an online book to see what the hype is all about it wasn’t the same for me. I enjoy picking up a good book reading it and once it’s done it is done. I notice that if I have a phone in my hand I tend to go check on Facebook, Twitter and often forget about what I was reading haha. Thanks for the great read I enjoyed your blog.

  3. Thanks for your share Chris. I too search the internet to double check info validity. I enjoyed how you wrote about checking out different perspective because you get that you sway more to to the left but understand that information and media bias exists and to get the full picture you’ve got to go look for it!

  4. Great post Chris! To recheck the information I have read, I try to read and research more about it. Also, my day starts by scrolling n checking several things on my phone but I like to read daily news. I like to keep myself updated and whenever my common sense doesn’t work I also opt for a little research on that topic.

  5. I agree Chris, it is important to look at both sides even if it is not always the side you agree with. This definitely helps paint a better picture of what is really going on.

  6. You bring up the important point of media bias when reporting on politicians and political parties. I agree that certain news stations often come off as more truthful or seem to offer opinions rather than facts. This is precisely why media literacy is so important: so we can discern what is accurate and what might be stretched beyond the truth.

  7. Yes! Confirmation bias is a real thing that often people get caught up in. It’s so important to research all sides of a story before making an informed decision. If we have an opinion and find only facts/opinions/sources that back up what we think, we in fact are engaging in confirmation bias instead of making an informed choice based on research and evidence in all stakeholders involved.

  8. I totally agree about using your “spidey” sense. Since taking this class I am very sensitive about simply finding information that reinforces my frame of thought. I know it is important to not base your opinion on simply one article. You must look at an issue from all sides. That said I conducted a little experiment within my circle friends regarding current events. I simply would say something like “have you seen the news lately regarding (insert topic)”. What I found was startling. Many people within the circle did not check multiple sources and simply would eliminate sources that did not support their opinions. It was startling how they would discount CBC for example because they saw it as too “left”. My point is that they did not even read an article and did not even want to entertain any points that would challenge their opinion on the current event that was discussed. Makes me wonder about the need for media literacy in society as a whole.

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