Finding Good News
C.J. Casper
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This is a very difficult problem to solve, and I’m glad people are trying. So are we in journalism, believe me. But there’s one problem often overlooked in this conversation, and that is the obligation of the citizen to be active — as opposed to passive — in seeking knowledge and information. I have been amazed, as a person who is often accused of having all kinds of biases (because I am a journalist), how little effort even some very smart people will make to become well-informed. Last summer, a guy at a party wanted me to tell him why “none of the U.S. news media” were reporting on the Panama Papers, an assertion I knew to be correct. He hadn’t even done a Google search to see what was out there, and this is a guy with a doctorate. I did a Google search when I got home and sent him a list of links to stories published by every major news organization in the United States. He preferred to live in his (anti-news media) bias bubble, and when I popped it for him, he didn’t even thank me. :-) The average human needs to be aware of the problem of confirmation bias and how powerfully it operates in our brains. People need to understand that if they’re just “watching” the news, or becoming hypnotized by the garbage being funneled into their social media bubbles, they are not informed. Seek information. Read carefully and completely. Think. Repeat. Then share and explain why. Please.

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