News Sources

The battle to control information and sway public opinion Being prepared for difficult, trying times means staying in tune with the pulse of the world and not wearing rose-colored glasses or sticking one's head in the sand pretending it isn't happening. Connecting to sources of "real" information is essential; information that is fact-based, objective, disinterested and balanced, NOT rumor-based (though many rumors are based in fact), biased, manipulative or sensationalized. Also, getting the complete story is vital. A cell-phone video clip of a specific act may not be a true representation of all the facts. The context of a video or document or conversation is essential.

Many "news" networks aren't worthy of watching or listening to but I watch, or listen to, information sources I don't prefer, to better understand the "other side". I also have my preferred news sources. And I am not entirely convinced there is such a thing as a "trusted news source". Anyone who only listens to a single source of information, or the same points of view, lacks independent thought (self-imposed ignorance). News sources "filter" their stories based on their personal agenda. That means we won't get the whole story unless we seek multiple perspectives. It is recommended to conduct personal research with other perspectives and don't assume that all that is said or printed or even visualized is true (from any source). Research other perspectives and don't assume that what is said or written, or even visualized is the real story.

Many people couldn't come up with an original thought in their head if their life depended on it. Many believe what they want, regardless of the facts. Others believe anything they read or hear; what they have been fed. I observe many on-the-street interviewees simply regurgitating media rhetoric. It's obvious, by their words, they have not exercised any independent thought or research. I encourage everyone to think for themselves and research other sources and points of view before reaching a conclusion and taking action. Avoid The Tin Foil Hat Club; when Crazy and Paranoid Interfere With Rational Thinking! Use Caution and Common Sense. The Internet and media are not our friends. Even friends may not be friends when seeking the truth. Weed Out The Crap!

How to Choose Your News?
Get the unfiltered news before it got into the hands of sources that put their "spin" on it.
Avoid "real-time" news that may not have the facts but lots of speculation.
Read coverage from multiple outlets with multiple bias and slants (conservative, liberal, etc.).
Separate "Facts" from "Opinions". Words like "think", "likely" or "probably" indicate opinions.
Anonymous sources are a sign to be cautious about the level of truth.
Avoid spreading information that is not fact-based by doing your own, independent research.

How to Spot Fake News? To discover the verifiability of a given news-piece in front of you, follow these criteria:
- Consider the Source
- Get the Whole Story
- Confirm the Author is Credible
- Find Supporting Resources
- Date the Information (is it current?)
- Is it too Outlandish - Is it a Joke?
- Are Your Beliefs Affecting Your Judgement?
- Fact-Check from Legitimate Sources ("experts")
For details on this topic, click here

Bottom line: Staying informed with the most accurate, truthful, provable information will help to prepare for whatever is really brewing in the community and the world. Before believing a story and sharing information with others, it's good to thoroughly research from multiple resources with different points of view. Always keep in mind, while watching or listening to any news source, that they are a money-making entity. As such, they need to entertain, improve their ratings and grow their listening/viewer base (audience). Take their words, pictures and videos with a grain of salt. Do independent research from several other sources with other points of view; this may result in a true representation of what is actually happening.

Journalist Despises His Profession: In 1975, we thought our quest was noble and we would become perveyors of the truth; skilled fact-finders and truth-tellers. 45 years later, having reached the top of my profession, I, generally, despise my own industry. Something I could never have predicted and am sad to say.

In the past, I have been the purveyor of misinformation; sometimes to be malicious but often out of ignorance, assuming the information from others was truthful. I am trying to mend my ways and I still have my opinions which I will gladly share. There is enough anger and misunderstanding in this world and I hope to reduce my contribution to them. I encourage others to do the same.

Resources to Search for the Truth: FactCheck    Hoax-Slayer    OpenSecrets    PolitiFact    Snopes    TruthOrFiction

Suggested Resources:
Misinformation vs Disinformation: What's the difference?
Can We Stop the Spread of Misinformation?
How to stop the spread of disinformation
Oftentimes news is "made", not just reported.
Different perspectives produce different results.
The battle to control information and sway public opinion:
[Document]    [Video Part 1]    [Video Part 2]