The acceleration of our “Information Age” has its pluses and minuses. So much comes to us so quickly, which is wonderful, but much of it is not meant to inform but to manipulate.
I tried an experiment recently. For one week I watched only the Fox Network for news. The following week I watched MSNBC. I kept a simple yes or no check list: Are nonpartisan sources given for anything presented as fact? Is opinion identified as just that? Are statements made supported by comparable and reliable sources? Is history covered to give the viewer a broad view of the topic? When an error is made, is it corrected within the next day or two? Is most of the news hour spent making accusations and placing blame, rather than providing the viewer with enough information to draw their own conclusions?
The results of my checklist — and I really tried to be “fair and balanced” — were enlightening. Try it and see.
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