“Fake News” & who to trust?…a bipartisan editorial newsletter told by ‘We the People’

meltingpot.life is a bipartisan newsletter for civil discourse — no trolling, no hate speech. It was created after the election in an effort to de-polarize our conversations in these agitated times. We want to pop your ‘filter bubbles,’ push you out of your comfort zone, and help us understand one another across the country.



December 15, 2016

Many major news sites and social media outlets are under fire for helping to promote “fake news.” Disenchanted news seekers find themselves often on a fruitless search for reputable, unbiased news sources.

What news sources do you trust? What can practically be done to create better media coverage for the masses?


My primary means of staying up to date on current events and media consumption happens on Facebook- from a combination of news shared by friends, and by media organizations that I follow there. Some of the national media outlets that I follow are NPR, WSJ, and The Hill. I also follow a few local news organizations. I generally trust larger and more reputable organizations to have facts well checked- places like The Atlantic, Slate, New York Times, Washington Post, BBC, and the like (and note whether or not they are opinion pieces I am reading).

I generally trust the facts of those sites, but often notice subtle, or not so subtle bias in the way facts are presented. I like some conservative leaning sites like the National Review, and do not trust news from sites like Breitbart or The Blaze. I follow politicians that I agree with and find intelligent and principled, and I give more weight to articles and opinions shared from friends who have shown that they avoid mocking, shaming, or belittling of others in advocating for their positions.

I think one of the best things we can do to improve media coverage is to improve media consumption in individuals by helping people to recognize bias in journalism. I try to watch for words that have emotional connotations when a more emotionally neutral word could have been used- words like appalled vs. shocked vs. surprised. Good journalism should provide information but not try to lead you to a specific conclusion. We should be careful not to become too dependent on headline-only news consumption.

During the election cycle I noticed a lot of headlines from generally trustworthy news sites that still managed to communicate an unnecessarily provocative headline that did not serve the true facts well. Reading an entire story, and examining the roots of the story, will often leave us less emotionally charged by the story than a headline will.

Shelly


MSNBC, PBC, the Daily Show. The NY Times, although I do try to see bias in the reporting. Better coverage for the masses would be shorter articles or at least with the most important data points in the first few paragraphs. People don’t read that far into an article.

Rose


I actually most trust completely outside news sources, like BBC and the Economist. I feel like they have the least interest in being biased, being British sources and not American.

Brian


I don’t actually feel trusting of ANY news sources these days, so I will be interested to read this newsletter when it comes out. I don’t know who to turn to. Everything feels biased and when I want to fact check one article, I don’t know who to turn to in order to do so. It is very frustrating and I believe one of our largest problems in modern politics. I know who I don’t trust. BuzzFeed, CNN, ABC News, Fox News…!

Dev


I don’t really trust the news I read anymore, but I usually just try to read similar topic articles on a variety of sites and sort it out. Something like The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, CNN, Fox News…try to balance out everything I read and get some kind of picture of what is going on. It’s exhausting.

Sally North

New York


I can’t figure it out but I watch local news and some specials on PBS and BBC.

Richard Evans


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