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Friday, May 08, 2020
At one time in America, when you listened to the evening news or read the daily newspaper, you could count on a clear distinction between news and editorials. You could count on almost all reporters to stick to facts or clearly state when they were quoting someone's opinion. No more.
To while away the time in grocery lines, I usually scan the covers of publications racked there. Years ago, I marveled that any sane person would buy the tabloids such as the National Enquirer as the stories were obviously not true. I now realize the tabloids have won. Mainstream news outlets resemble tabloids more than they do newspapers of 30 years ago. All media today compete for time (and clicks) with the uncontrolled opinion-spewing of social media. As a result, headlines--and even content--get more and more misleading.
How do you find news that you can rely on to give you the real story in this day and time? Two ways. One, keep up with the names of reporters you read, find ones that you believe give you the real story and read those more than others. Two, read news from multiple outlets. For example, if you're a conservative who usually listens to Fox News, tune to CNN to get the liberal view. And vice versa.
For the first way, if you are a conservative, as I am, I recommend Peggy Noonan. Although her columns are editorial, she underpins her opinions with fact. I also happen to agree with her opinions (usually).
For the second, a good web site that makes it easy to compare the news as reported from different viewpoints is Allsides. They attempt to characterize outlets as left, center, right and present the same story as reported by different outlets. It's not an exact science, but it makes it easier to compare viewpoints.