Q&A Friday #77: How Do You Know What Media Sources To Trust?

Question: “Many people I talk to have gotten to the point where they just don’t believe much of anything they hear, read, or see from any sort of media outlet anymore. Increasingly, I too find myself shrugging my shoulders and saying, “Who the hell really knows what’s going on in the world?”

What sort of guidelines do you personally use to substantiate information received from the media (tv, radio, blogs, internet news, etc…)?” — President_Friedman

Answer: Well, if you’re talking about issues that don’t have any political implications, the mainstream media does a decent job.

But, if politics is involved, in any way, shape, or form, it is unwise to take what you read from any one mainstream media source at face value, because their political agenda pollutes what they write.

So, what I advise is perusing multiple sources with different ideological slants. If you read just left leaning outlets like the New York Times, Washington Post, and the Daily Kos, you only get half the story.

Honestly, I think that you get a more complete picture from conservative sources, because by necessity, we end up talking about and/or linking liberal sources in our analysis, because the MSM is dominated by liberals. So, if you read 2 or 3 conservative blogs, you will probably get a good idea of the liberal and conservative take on the same situation in the process.

PS: I’ve given you a very general answer and of course, I could get into a lot more detail about some of the things I’ve picked up over the years.

Just to give you a few examples,

* Don’t trust anything you read from a paper that’s based in a country that isn’t free.

* Be dubious of anything you read about Pakistan in an Indian paper.

* The left side of the blogosphere habitually and knowingly prints lies about conservatives.

* Conservative blogs often bungle exposes of fake MSM stories in the early going.

* Be extremely dubious of any controversial statements made by anonymous sources.

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