A common question I am getting is – how do I find news sources that are not going to give me biased or #fakenews?
This is a great question and the answer is that it doesn’t exist, not in the way you want it to be answered.
Ideally there would be (like 40 years ag0) one single news source that you could rely on to give you information that you could feel safe in assuming that there wasn’t that much motivation to distort that information, or to hide information, or to misinform. WW2 and Communism still very much in the consciousness of everyday life in those days.
Today however, it is somewhat more complicated. Every news source has an agenda, and even if they don’t they have an opinion that is going to reflect their political bias.
”How do I find information and news that is meaningful to me?”
Actually surfing the information highway is far easier than you think when you let go of the expectation, like a child has with a parent, that information sources must be altruistic in some way in serving your needs and that you owe it loyalty in return. Unlike parents, information sources are not altruistic they expect something from you, and unlike parents you are not under any obligation to be loyal.
Once you have overcome that little battle you begin to realise that there are so many sources and it becomes a buffet of information.
The next step is then to decide what it is that you actually want to know about. On just about any subject you will find two opposing opinions. It is worth reading both, and picking out points that you like from both to formulate your own ideas in the first instance and help you focus further research.
An example of this might be – is Islam a peaceful religion or not? a simple search in google would be 1st – peaceful verses in the Koran, the 2nd – violent verses in the Koran.
Once you have done this – you can start to formulate an opinion regarding Islam. It is not complete research, but it is a start, so when someone says ‘Islam is peaceful’ you now know that Islam is also violent. It doesn’t matter that there are no absolutes – Islam is allowed to be both. The point for you is to know when you are seeing the difference and what it means, and more importantly when someone is persuading you to believe something that is not true about Islam.
Another example might be – is multiculturalism working? the two searches you would need to employ as follows – 1st – evidence multiculturalism works, 2nd – evidence multiculturalism doesn’t work.
You will find statistics for both arguments – and again there is no need for either of them to absolutely right or for you to make an absolute judgement at this time. It is for you as the observer to read what they have to say, and to decide which one has more strength in their arguments and why. This allows you to do further research. Often when we look up a piece of information it leads us into a wider search to understand that information.
It is important that you make two diametrically opposite searches in this way because google and other search engines use all their data about your web usage and only return those results that match those preferences. This puts you in a bubble where you can only validate your existing preferences. So when you do a search on information you have to literally break out the box with hard statements, it may be statements that you don’t like, but in order to find information sources you have to be brave and be bold. Then refine those searches to get better answers.
For example – you may do a search on ‘why anti-Semitism?’ and you may get top results for anti-Semitic groups. This is not what you are looking for, so you may then need to refine search, to ‘history of antisemitism through time’. This may now return results of Zionist groups, again not something you are looking for. So you refine further to ‘Jewish history in Europe’ – now you are starting to get results that are giving you answers.
”How do I know it is true and not fake news?”
Always look at more than one source for the same information if you have doubt or feel there is value – personally I always feel value in finding other sources. If facts being given quote a source, then check that source has some degree of credibility (an un-named government leak is not credible, 10 unnamed sources confirming something is not credible. names that can be cross checked are). If Wikipedia is used as a source, check the references at the bottom on the Wiki page – are the sources credible, in most cases they are and well worth clicking on the links to find further information.
This is not a university degree with a dead line, it doesn’t have to be perfect, it doesn’t have to be static, and there is no test. No one is watching you and no one is judging you – what is important is that you are making yourself available to information, over time the information you find will get better and your views and opinions will become more solid.
”how do I know if the source of information is biased whilst presenting credible facts?”
All text is prone to bias and facts can be manipulated. The best way to work with this is to find out about the driving beliefs of the sources that you are looking at.
This is not a superficial exercise unfortunately. It would be lovely if it was still 50 years ago and the lines between socialism and conservationism in the political area were clear, and the flags for extremism obvious. Sadly, however, this is no longer the case. Consider that well known conservatives were in fact socialists (though you will not be told this directly), this includes Churchill and Thatcher amongst many.
To determine what the current philosophies are consider the terminology in the narratives. One of the most common amongst politicians is ‘progressive’ you will hear this on both sides of left and right. So finding out what ‘progressive’ is is important in understanding bias. However, as you discover what progressive is, one needs to know what the arguments are against it.
Another is ‘globalist’ which again is found both left and right and in finding out what it really means as a philosophy, remember to find the counter arguments.
Most importantly is that when you do this understand that both ‘sides’ of the argument are correct. If you are feeling an emotional response to something, find softer information that does not trigger you. What is most important is that you discover what is being said and why. Both sides are right, both sides have facts, both sides have flaws, and both sides have the best intentions.
Often a good way to understand a perspective is to see what the opposition is saying about them and check that information. The right will tell you Obama is planning a coup, the Left will tell you the Russia controls the world. Are either of them true? It actually doesn’t take a huge amount of research to find an answer to either.
”Do I have to do checking and researching all the time now?”
No, it is only a process of coming up to date on what the current biases are and discovering your own bias. Through that process, you will find that certain sources of information become consist and reliable for you both in mainstream and alternative media. It is important to have both as they counter balance each other. The bias in mainstream is progressive ideology, whilst the bias in alternative media is traditional conservative. Most people see themselves as somewhere in the middle, and there are no news sources that I am aware of that successfully walk that line free from either.
Sources here at The Hungry Rabbit
At the top of the page there is a tab ‘Alternative Media’. Both current affairs and philosophy will be represented and it must be noted that if something is listed, it doesn’t mean that it is a source I personally use. For example, Infowars. I rarely listen to Inforwars as I don’t like the delivery style, however, I do appreciate that many people when they are first starting their journey find it useful and a starting point to finding other sources of information.