This is not the first time your Local Yokels have harped on the importance of being a media locavore. Even if you don’t care for the flavor of what’s available here, if you don’t buy then it will disappear. Then we will really be in the dark. Do you think the Washington Post is going to tell you what Shrelauter has been cooking up with any regularity? (Hint: they are not gonna.)
Local reporter and start-up media maestro Katherine Heerbrandt of The Frederick Extra is an excellent resource. She also shared her experience as the invited guest of Rockville United Church to talk to the congregation after the service. They wanted to discuss the importance of the press and how to ensure that their media diet was nutritious and free of toxins. It sounds like a recipe club many people could benefit from.
We have always been up front that our information comes heavily seasoned with our point of view. It is certainly valuable to look to other sources to achieve a balanced diet. There is no way to get a “Fair and Balanced” perspective from a single source. The fact that a source would tell you such a thing should make you immediately suspicious; news is not like candy, you can consume all you want. If they are threatened that you may sample another source there’s reason to think it is a very serious problem. This is why, much as it pains us, we are willing to look at something we expect to be of no more substance than dried out marshmallows (say WHUT?) or noodley appendages.
Just like nutrition science, what you learned in science has value here. Look at your sources and see if there is peer review in evidence. If you see a headline that stands out in particular, find out what the other sources are saying. Do they corroborate one another or refute one another? Chances are if something sounds
like an outlier preposterous, (EX: President Obama gives “Hanoi Jane” Presidential Medal of Freedom) it probably is. You will want to verify that before running with it. This is getting decidedly trickier, the more like satire our reality becomes, so it means we must be even more cautious with our data. If the same source is always an outlier, chances are there is a problem with their research they are a liar, paid by the fossil fuel industry (oh yes, just like in science, it can help to know who is funding the report).
This should go without saying: stop taking a bunk source into account when you identify it. If you look around, and all of the links you find seem to rely on a single source and you are unsure of its reputation, form a hypothesis and test your hypothesis about the reliability of that source. You will come to a valuable conclusion. Scientific thinking. It’s not just for scientists.
Also, good journalists are heroes! Stop taking them for granted!