HIT UP THAT PAPER BOY
Every informed citizen needs a trusted news source.
As more and more people get their news from social media, it’s becoming harder to find accurate, minimally biased sources of information. Fact-based, quality news is a cornerstone of democracy, and citizens can’t really be involved in the political arena without it. Remember: knowledge is power, and they don’t call journalism the fourth estate for nothing.
It is extremely important that all citizens pay attention to local news in addition to national and global news. It can be easier to effect change on a smaller scale, and it is more practical to get your foot in the door of local politics. After all, policies in your district can impact you most directly. Here’s a list of news publications in the Los Angeles area.
If you don’t have a trusted news source already, spend some time browsing for a credible source. It could be online, print, TV, or radio. You can always check out the time-honored newspapers like the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, or websites like Politico or The Hill, and magazines like the Atlantic and the New Yorker. Some sources, like The Skimm, even deliver a daily digest of current events to your email inbox. Find your local newspaper online, pick up a hard copy from a newsstand, or tune into your local news radio station.
Determining the quality of a news source is tricky terrain, but some clues include story topics, level of biased language, and authority of the sources cited in an article. Sites like AllSides rate news websites according to political bias, and FactCheck.org or even Snopes can help determine the accuracy of information you see in the news.
Work the news into your schedule and make it a daily habit!
Q: Is all news the same no matter which source you use?
A: No, for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, many news sources exhibit some kind of bias. Politically, this often means left or right leaning. As a result, finding a good quality source is very important (this doesn’t necessarily mean a source that agrees with you, but one that presents all the facts)- see the next question for more on source credibility. Also, not all sources have the same expertise behind their reporting. For example, when wanting to learn more about politics, Politico or The Hill will probably be a better place to go than ABC News or Buzzfeed.