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Author Topic: Fake News
Hank
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The Rise and Rise of Fake News

The Arizona Annexation thread brought this to mind (at least, after it was derailed it did). Reading it, the offenses listed in the article seem to me a little pointless, but I realize that's because I just assume that everyone thinks about television news of all stripes the way I do: they're out to make money, so it's going to be about marketing, pushing agendas valuable to them in some way and reporting in that order of importance.

Anyway, the point I wanted to discuss is this: where do you get your news, how much do you trust those sources, and how much do you think your media consumption affects your opinions?

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Reshpeckobiggle
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The Onion, of course. And anncoulter.com.
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Hank
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Ah, so you're highly educated, then.
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SenojRetep
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I get most of my news through the Google news aggregator. When I have a choice between different sources for the same story, I usually go to the AP first (if it's available) and then to one of the big outfits, with a preference for the Boston Globe since it's closer to home.

I also get some amount of news from NPR during my brief commute in the morning and evening. Plus random news articles linked from Hatrack, of course [Smile]

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Hank
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I think This parallels some of how I view the news-industry at large.
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Lisa
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I get quite a bit from right here, actually. But also from a lot of blogs that I have in Google Reader.
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Hank
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But how do you guys -feel- about your news sources? Do you feel that the sum of it all is a balanced, well-informed view, or do you worry that you're not getting access to enough facts--even ones presented with a slant--to form a decent opinion?

I live in the DC area, so I get a good bit of it from the Post, then I tend to look up more detail online about anything that appeals to me as particularly interesting, but I generally feel that there's a lot I'm missing. Maybe I should be doing more reading, but who, what, and where to maximize the amount of time I'm willing to invest in current events versus, say, having a social life or keeping my job?

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katharina
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www.realclearpolitics.com

Opinion articles from a variety of sources, from the right to the left. It does a good job of presenting the range of what is being said, and the articles linked to are usually well written.

www.npr.org
www.slate.com
www.nytimes.com
www.washingtonpost.com
www.cnn.com
www.realclearpolitics.com

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Ecthalion
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Hank: For my serious news i feel like my sources are fairly reputable and even if they have a noticeable bias they report enough information that i still know what is going on and can come up with my own idea on the matter.

Here's a few things that i look at when i read an article.

1. An accurate headline- I know that the modern news organization has less than a second to catch a person's eye. I also know that they are under pressure to have their articles get google hits but an accurate headline is a must. If you are reporting on Lindsey Lohan and her washing off sea creatures don't give me a headline like "Famous persons demand retribution for their feathered freinds" its ok to mention philanthropic work done by a star, but the title is misleading. I don't want to feel like im being lied to or tricked into reading an article

2. It tells me what happened- It is not enough for a news organization to tell that an event occurred, it must explain the event to me. One reason i dislike TV news is that you will get a headline or a soundbite that proclaims "Oil Disaster in Gulf- Exclusive at 9" and then wait through meaningless stories and weather reports only to have the reporter say "We aren't really sure what happened but we have some reports that there has been oil leaked into the ocean. We'll keep you informed once we know something" Good reporting is well structured, it answers the questions of What happened? How did it happen? Where did is happen? Who is involved? It isn't enough to know that there is oil in the gulf. There was an explosion. There were lives lost. There was a history of BP ignoring regulations to cut costs. There were warnings that all was not well with the oil rig.

3. Intent- I feel there are many news organizations that obviously have agendas aside from the story. I can't watch FOX or MSNBC because they can't say a sentence without adding "But those leftist commie bastard liberals in the democratic party....." or "Those super nazi freedom-hating conservatives in the republican camp" and then telling me what the agenda of the "other" party is. Its different when you simply outline the stance of a party or even state their opinions or feelings towards something. It doesn't bother me if you only report one party's view. It does bother me when a network makes the view seem small, insignificant and stupid and so is anyone who believes it.

Because of this i feel my news sources are great. If you were asking how i feel about news sources in general though i feel like its getting out of hand. Even paper sources are losing their good writers and are becoming susceptible to poor reporting because of the increase in information trafficked on questionable sources like opinion blogs, twitter, wikipedia. I also think that money is as always a problem In order to get people to buy a paper or to get people to watch a program reporters could push out an undeveloped story or a story filled with shocking material just to generate buzz. It would seem to me that television news suffers from this more but papers have been feeling the numbers crunch and are getting desperate as well.

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Jake
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quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
www.realclearpolitics.com

Opinion articles from a variety of sources, from the right to the left. It does a good job of presenting the range of what is being said, and the articles linked to are usually well written.

www.npr.org
www.slate.com
www.nytimes.com
www.washingtonpost.com
www.cnn.com
www.realclearpolitics.com

All of these (though The New York Times and The Washington Post less than the others). I also visit BBC News, The Bangkok Post, Chiang Mai Mail, ProPublica, and occasionally The Christian Science Monitor for news, and Salon, Foreign Affairs, and occasionally The Daily Beast for commentary and analysis. For local news I go to the Dayton Daily News, Yellow Springs News, and Lawrence Journal World sites.
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Samprimary
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gnews and reader filtration of basically the internet's entire panopoly of news sites and known blogs. I keep a running tally of the observable biases and problematic fact-checking record of each individual source, so I'll know to be wary when I've got something from WSJ or something, and I'll know when to just roll my eyes and fact-check the source because it's garbage.

Blogs, I rarely deal with except for 538, and I'll continue to read 538 as long as they're completely professional and spot-on with their review of the electoral scene.

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Mucus
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Google Reader RSS feeds for the majority of my news sources. Newspapers and publications with over-representation in Canada and China/Hong Kong.

To elaborate on China/Hong Kong news, basically you have to start by throwing out the obvious propaganda, Xinhua or anything ending with Daily on the Chinese side and Voice of America, the set of Radio Free X, and the Epoch Times on the other.

So that leaves you with Hong Kong media, overseas Chinese media (which often also deal with minority issues in N. America), and a web of expat blogs, which basically means you need at least two or three independent sources to verify anything particularly controversial.

Areas of particular interest include publications by known foreign correspondents in China (John Pomfret for the Washington Post, Malcolm Moore for the Telegraph, Melissa Chan for Al Jazeera, etc.), Rebecca MacKinnon's blog (a former CNN bureau chief who focuses on censorship issues), and bridge blogs which translate Chinese news into English news. That way you get an idea of what is being lost in the news production process as overseas editors add more bias by headlining, adding stock photos, and selectively editing articles.

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Hank
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These are all very helpful, and I really like Ecthalion's prerequisites for being a legitimate areticle/story/feature/etc. within any given source. I've always noticed and filtered for those things, but it's nice to have them enunciated.
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