How to be an informed citizen in an era of deception.
Note: there is an updated version: A Balanced Media Diet for 2021.
Welcome to the era of fake news.
The number of media sources available to Americans has exploded over the past two decades with the growth of the internet. These myriad sources present the very same event in often dramatically different ways, which can be fascinating. The problem is, each source often labels all other sources as deceptive or even malicious by flippantly denouncing them as “fake news.”
This creates a dilemma: Either accept one news source as the arbiter of truth and let it distinguish the fake from the genuine and thereby filter the news for you, or read broadly despite the warnings and trust your own intelligence to determine the veracity of the news you read.
Choosing the first path —which many do — is creating news bubbles in this country that go by the name “echo chambers” and are generally places where a small and dwindling range of perspectives are available.
This guide is for those choosing the second path.