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Where realism and idealism meet Tony Brasunas, author of Double Happiness

Introducing the 2021 Balanced Media Diet

I’ve been writing here lately all about the covid treatments and the covid injections. Did you maybe, perhaps, sort of discover that you read something here that you hadn’t read elsewhere? 

My guess is that if you don’t get your news from a broad variety of sources, you’ve likely received some unfamiliar information from me.

But is it the truth? Wouldn’t it be nice to find a true news source, a media outlet that simply reported the unbiased truth about each day’s events? 

Yes, that would be nice. 

It would also be nice if Santa Claus were real. The problem is, every news source has biases — this is a focus of a whole chapter in my book. There is no one single source that can be trusted on everything. Even if I could write emails like this on a daily basis, getting only my perspective wouldn’t be ideal either. 

And there isn’t only bias to consider. As I mentioned at the top, there is now censorship too, that demon of every repressive government and power structure. 

We have pundits on CNN openly advocating censorship of independent media. We have Alexandria

Ocasio-Cortez, for whom I had so much respect as recently as a year ago, directing  supporters to censor friends on social media. Would you like to live in a world where an email like this one is deleted by Google prior to arriving in your inbox? If we listen to corporate media today, it’s closer than you think. As in that CNN clip, it will be discussed in corporate media as a way to “protect people” from “violent extremism,” and just like that our ability to communicate freely will be gone. That’s the trend, a return to the Dark Ages where only anointed clerics of business and high priests of government can speak on matters of “science.” The crucial drive of the Enlightenment was leaving the Dark Ages behind by taking science and the search for truth out of the hands of the powerful; we should never tolerate regression on this.

For the past few years I’ve been dedicated to the idea of a balanced media diet. As a balanced food diet nourishes a healthy and robust body, a deliberately balanced media diet nourishes a healthy and robust mind. A broad set of news sources also builds an ongoing awareness of the many sides of current events, a media consciousness that trains the mind to see bias and circumvent censorship.

Teach a man to fish

As the saying goes, “Give a man a fish and he reads a single email, share with him a complete media diet and he reads broadly for a lifetime.” With that proverb in mind, I created my own personal media diet back in 2018. I identified spheres of bias in the American media landscape that I called Media Food Groups, and I researched dozens and dozens of sources in each sphere. I wrote the diet up and published it as an article to see if others were interested in something like this too, and that became A Balanced Media Diet for 2019. 

That served well for a year or two, but 2020 was a topsy-turvy, up-is-down, left-is-right year of disastrous media bias and censorship, and I could tell I needed to adjust the diet. 

2020 got away from me as I poured all my attention to my forthcoming book, but I’m happy to announce that in January I dove again into researching media sources and put together a new media diet for 2021. 

The diet is not everything. It is not that true news source we all seek, that Holy Grail of Always True News that we would love to find someday. It’s a coherent plan that can enable anyone with 30 minutes a day to escape echo chambers and become informed on the events of the day.

And I won’t tell you that adopting a media diet is any easier than adopting Keto or Paleo or another culinary diet. It’s hard, and it will challenge your mental and physical habits. But there has been no time in recent history where it’s been more important.

Without further ado, 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 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 increasingly distinct news bubbles in this country which in turn lead to social media “echo chambers” where a small and dwindling range of perspectives is available.

This guide is for those choosing the second path.

Read more >

You can also find the diet at www.BalancedMediaDiet.com, although this new website doesn’t yet have all the information contained in the Medium article. My goal is to make the website a place where people can create their own media diets!

Please let me know if you have any questions, suggestions, or comments on the diet.

Posted in Balanced Media Diet | Covid Pandemic
by Tony Brasunas on March 3, 2021

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