I could be out lounging by the pool getting my tan on right now. Instead, I'm writing this blog about my search to find more unbiased sources of media and news in America.
I guess my prayers to grow up and be a more responsible American citizen are being answered right now. 😊
That's my opening, I hope it caught your attention.
But for real, I caught myself wondering this week if it is possible to find as unbiased of a news source as possible in America. I've wondered this question a lot in the past, but never followed up with a research session about it. That changes today, and I'm sharing my findings with you in case you want someone else to do the heavy lifting for you (which I totally understand because I wish someone else had just done this for me hahaha).
It's my own fault I'm just now doing more research and caring about what kind of news sources I'm listening to everyday. My parents have tried to make me emerge from my, "living under a rock like Patrick Star" lifestyle for many years by encouraging me to watch the nightly news, from local to worldwide.
I just didn't have cable, a streaming service, or the desire to.
"If it's important enough, it will find me," I remember saying snarkily to a college roommate one time about important news.
Yeah... that's the outlook of an immature, young girl who should've cared more.
I do now, though - and I care enough to share my findings with you. I want you to think critically about the news sources you already trust and how to make more informed and diverse choices about other news sources you should follow more.
Let's go through the information I learned in a nice, easy on the eyes, list!
Your Political Leanings Probably Impacts Which News You Trust
This Business Insider article (https://www.businessinsider.com/most-biased-news-outlets-in-america-cnn-fox-nytimes-2018-8) discusses the most and least biased news sources in the U.S. according to Americans. Yes, Americans weighed in on American news sources in this 2018 study. I found the article helpful because I analyzed how extreme or lenient the ratings were given to each news station, and by which political party.
Yes, political party matters when watching the news.
This article reminded me that humans like to put ourselves in groups.
There's nothing wrong with groups except for this bad psychological phenomenon called group think.
If you stay only within your group, you can start having more extreme ideas that make sense within your group only because no outside opinion different from yours has come to ring alarm bells and say "okay, hold it, take it back a notch, not all of these ideas are great." OR, even worse, because of someone's fear of being rejected by the group, they keep their dissenting opinion silent to gain favor from other group members.
See how I said that "not all of these ideas are great" instead of "all of these ideas are horrible"? Most of the times, there are good things each political party (or group of people in America) are trying to accomplish, and not all of their ideas are bad. Staying away from Group Think is vital to rebuilding a more bipartisan America, but also vital for building an American landscape where people can argue and debate civilly, with love and respect.
Therefore, I suggest you read this article, understand where your political bias makes you lean when you look at the news, and then diversify your news sources a bit.
Avoid Group Think by having at least one source of news that challenges your views.
One more thing.
Keep in mind, this article was written in 2018. It's important to know what date the article was written because it could be slightly outdated information, by now. Since it's within 5 years, I think this information probably hasn't changed much.
Top 4 Unbiased World News Sources? Sounds cool
This article was updated this March (https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/top-5-world-news-websites-guaranteed-free-censorship/), and it's another fact-based article about 4 world news sources that have consistently been analyzed AND HAILED to be reliable and unbiased sources for news.
The article is great because it explains what unbiased reporting looks like, provides links for you to look at their resources, and gives you detailed information about each news source they are saying are unbiased.
They also mention that it's totally okay to try to gain a more unbiased approach to American news by watching both CNN and Fox, as long as you understand the bias each of them has. That's great advice, because most people I know only watch one of these two sources when I feel like a good balance is needed, instead.
Here are the 4 news sources they suggested:
~The Associated Press
~Wall Street Journal
Go to the Primary Source if All Else Fails
Primary sources are documents, a first-hand account, or another source (i.e. a video) that constitutes direct evidence of an object of study. Primary sources are also known as original sources.
If you are ever thinking to yourself "Hmmm, this news source sounds a bit too biased, and maybe their opinions are screwing with the facts," then go to the primary/original source. Go to the statistics they are sharing. Go to the article/book they are referencing. Do your due research. Care to find the truth, because it's there, I promise.
A lot of people my age sometimes despair that there are no trustworthy news sources out there. Don't trust the news people if they haven't earned your trust yet, but I'm glad I live in an age when I can look up most scientific journals, live interviews and/or recorded interviews, and other things that help me find the truth.
Yes, I'm a bit lazy, and would probably only do this on my own about an issue I was passionate about, but it is an option. It is a very real option to do the work yourself.
The truth is out there. You can find it with hard work, luck, and God's help.
I hope you enjoyed this small article. If you have a news source that is reliable and unbiased, let me know about it! Or if you have a news source you really enjoy, but has a bit of a bias, let me know, too. I'm not afraid of people's opinions, I just want to know upfront what they are so I can understand more of what to expect ideology-wise who I am speaking with or listening to.
Remember, love one another. It's a commandment, not a suggestion.