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Trusted News sources?

News Journalism Fox News CNN 2014 Media

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#1 Cait

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 03:58 PM

I was reading the article at the link, and thought to myself that throwing stones at each other's News organization was pretty much par for the course among any competitors. In other words, this is what people do when they are competing for $$, which in this case is viewers and advertising dollars.  So the fact that these two heads of News are lobbing stones at each other isn't really news.

But, we here  in OT, often argue over news sources and I wondered, what criteria each of us uses to "trust" a news source?  Is it the actual brand [i.e. Fox News, CNN, ABC News, etc.]?  Or do we trust certain journalists and/or commentators [i.e. Diane Sawyer, Bill Moyers, Sean Hannity, etc]?  Or do we trust the news that gets delivered in a way that doesn't upset our comfort zone?  I wonder about this last one in particular because objectively, the news should just be the news, regardless of who delivers it or their political persuasion.

I say this as a person who has worked on every school newspaper in every school I ever attended.  I began writing news stories when I was 8 or 9 I think.  I still do some editorial pieces for different publications.  I was a journalism major in college, although changed my major to political science somewhere along the line.  Straight news should be the same regardless of outlet, journalist, or POV.

I realize that now we have commentators to "explain" what the "facts" of a news item really are, and we've gotten so used to these explanations that I think basic news and straight news has gotten lost in the effort to 'explain' what the truth really is.  But, how do we choose who we are going to let "explain" it to us?

I will admit that I listen to commentators that demonstrate an ability to process complexity.  You can determine it in the actual questions they ask guests.  As a matter of fact a lot can be gleaned from the questions and follow up questions a news person will ask. Does one question follow the next based on the actual answers, or do the follow up questions ignore the actual response and push in one direction [like a prosecutor would in a cross examination]?  Do commentators actively follow an agenda, and if they do, what kind of opposite perspective is shown to offset the bias of the commentator.  All of these things are the things a straight news journalist would use to choose a news source.  

In layman's terms, how smart is the newscaster?  If the commentator or journalist isn't smart enough to ask the right follow up questions, then how can they "explain" complex issues to me?

What do you use to choose a news source?  What gives you a sense that you can trust that news source?

I know this will degenerate into a "Liberal News" blah blah blah, but that's OK.  Let's state at the onset that news sources are indeed biased.  If they are, how do you pick a news source you can trust?


http://www.huffingto..._n_4579420.html

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The chiefs of CNN and Fox News Channel are throwing shots at each other, each suggesting the other's network is essentially out of the news business.
Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes struck first, saying in an interview published this week that it was interesting for CNN "to throw in the towel and announce they're out of the news business." It was a reference to CNN President Jeff Zucker's efforts to expand CNN's offerings beyond breaking news.
"We happen to be in the business, as opposed to some other fair and balanced network," Zucker responded at a news conference on Friday.
He suggested that Ailes' remarks, published in the Hollywood Reporter, were silly and an attempt to deflect attention from "The Loudest Voice in the Room," a book on Ailes and Fox by New York magazine writer Gabriel Sherman that is being published this month.
Zucker said he hadn't read the book, but that from what he heard it confirmed that "the Republican Party is being run out of News Corp. headquarters masquerading as a cable news channel."

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#2 offworlder

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 06:23 PM

i'll get into my view of the AI thing after more thought, but on this thing here, this looks to be about screen talking heads tossing on each other, and, I could not care less what some talking heads toss about; not interested in the least on talking heads. generally get my news from the non screen online, like sites of the papers; and often like my news from non US sites, my trust level is just a bit more with them; as far as how or why trust? can only say, by what they say and how they say it over time, experience over the time of getting that news, how can it be any differently? back to screen: dont get screen reception so it's all online but a lot of those online are are by the screen companies; so I'll go on those and scan down the headline lists, just the facts m'am, not opening not reading the details, want the details from others; so like Fox cable site or Cnn just scan down the headlines, 'hey did the world blow up' ? then turn to others for the real deal; now there are a couple trusted screen outfits to read more details, like BBC, CBC, CTV, Nine Sydney Australia, stuff like that; but then mostly the online papers; the heralds, like SMH Herald of Sydney, NZHerald, Herald of Melbourne, Glasgow Herald, Scotsman of Edinborough, and I do trust Guardian of Manchester, most of Telegraph including NZTelegraph, Independent of ie, Ireland, National Post of Canada, Globe and mail , Miami Herald, Chicago Tribune, and some of WashPost; and Seattle times. ;)
"(Do you read what they say online?) I check out all these scandalous rumours about me and Elijah Wood having beautiful sex with each other ... (are they true?) About Elijah and me being boyfriend and boyfriend? Absolutely true. We've been together for about nine years. I wooed him. No I just like a lot of stuff - I like that someone says one thing and it becomes fact. It's kind of fun." --Dominic Monaghan in a phone interview with Newsweek while buying DVDs at the store. :D

#3 Themis

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 07:51 PM

A blend for me.  Not least are most of the links Specs posts here!  I tend to leave CNN on for noise if I'm home during the day.  I like Brian Williams on NBC.  Occasionally I'll watch Rachel Maddow on MSNBC.  The local paper is fairly useless for national or international.  For international news of interest I'll check BBC.  Those are the ones I'll search if I've somehow been clued in to a story.  If the story is of particular interest, I'll check links or do some searches.  It depends on whether I want more information about a story or not.  It's a complicated world and we all have time issues.
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#4 Cait

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 08:04 PM

Yes, we all have time issues.  But, I agree that many times, it is doing a search on a story that appeals to me in some way.  Following up on the links in an on line report, or just googling it to get several sources.  I haven't watched any shows regularly since Chris Hayes went from his weekend show to weeknights.  I liked his show on the weekend for the kind of story that never gets any attention, and he had on good opposition guests.  But, since he lost "Up", I haven't really followed any regular shows.  

I also will seek out non-US sources.  The BBC and especially CBC.  Less US politics from those sources.

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#5 Lord of the Sword

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 10:22 PM

I try to get both sides' PoV, although it has become increasing hard to do that since I rarely watch MSNBC anymore. I can't stand their commentators. I refuse to watch Chris Matthews, ever since he declared how happy he was that Super Storm Sandy hit. Chris Hayes is a joke, and only focuses on crimes against minorities committed by Whites, he apparently believes Whites have never been victims of crimes by minorities. I do still like Rachael Maddow. Lately I've been watching Fox news...at least they have people of both parties on to argue their PoV. One of my favorite on air personalities on Fox is Judge Jeane Pirro. She is just awesome.

So in answer to your question...At least for me it's if they news program presents both sides of the issue, and if I can stand the on air personality or not.
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#6 Raina

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 04:24 AM

When it comes to national news, I haven`t found much of a difference between Canada`s main broadcasters. According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia....vision_networks), there are only 4 major English-language ones (I`m not including APTN, because that caters to more of a niche market). I mostly just read the news stories on their websites, and I swear most of their stories look almost identical.

Is it just the fact that I don`t tend to read political stories, or is Canadian media much less partisan than American mediaÉ I kinda get the vague impression that the media mostly criticizes the political party currently in power, regardless of what party it is.

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#7 FnlPrblm

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 05:22 AM

I'd say mainly BBC plus local news stuff (especially for weather).  Though I used to watch CNN/Fox News...so on, my trust and interest in their news, news stories and news focus has dwindled over the years.  Plus, everything has been so sensationalized, it's grossening.  Plus, it doesn't even seem like the quality of news staffers are what they used to be.  In print (be it paper or electronic), you'd almost never find grammatical errors or severely botched sources being intentionally misquoted.  (And don't get me wrong, I'm not a Grammar Nazi by any means.)  But I do have the expectation that those who make that their living and are to be the best, adhere to the simplest rules of conduct.

I find so many magazines for example, conducting an interview with someone and not quoting anything.  Why?  Because it gives them (ugh, I can't think of the term now...not writer's liberty, but something close to that)...the 'freedom' to minx words and basically paraphrase anything.  Except now, some take that to a whole new level of where most of the magazine is printed that way.  If it's not going to be an actual interview, then why even bother bringing the person in other than for the promo photo shoot?
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#8 Spectacles

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 07:29 AM

Basically, I have a hard time trusting all news sources and don't completely trust any--for the reasons others mention: bias and lack of journalistic ethics (and yes, there once was such a thing.)

But over the years, news has become "boutiqued" by targeting certain demographics groups and essentially pandering to them. This is the way all services and products are sold; information is just another commodity these days.

I like in-depth reports. When a journalist really digs into a subject, there is a safer bet that he or she is actually invested in "getting to the bottom of it." Of course, then there have been those like the NYT's Judith Miller, a well-respected journalist, who dug in but with a bias. Her "in-depth reports" during the run-up to the Iraq War were uncritical regurgitations of whatever the Bush White House told her.

And this is another problem: access. To get it, writers schmooze. "Protecting your sources" these days, especially in politics, means treating them kindly in print. Otherwise, you lose access. Politicians--both parties--do this. A big part of the cost of being in politics these days is paying a PR staff to "manage the press."

So with all these factors in play, I'm largely suspicious of any source, some more than others. On cable, Fox News, for instance, is well-established as a propaganda arm of the Republican party. Few pretend any more that they aren't. MSNBC has become the progressive mirror of Fox.

I think it's more important than ever for people as consumers of news to tell the difference between fact and opinion. We have a responsibility to ourselves and our society to be able to do this. But increasingly, we have people who accept opinions as fact and who dismiss facts because they don't support their opinions.

I think Thomas Jefferson would be worried. He's the one who said that the survival of a democratic republic depends on a well-educated citizenry. He was right.
"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

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#9 Cait

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 03:20 PM

There is a fascinating article over at Mother Jones.  It probably deserves its own thread, but one of the films relates to this topic.  Feel free to branch out and talk about all the films and their influence if you like.

http://www.motherjon...e-liberal-study

Quote

Rush Limbaugh was right all along.
Sort of.
According to a study recently published in Social Science Quarterly, Hollywood is making youmore liberal. The study, titled "Moving Pictures? Experimental Evidence of Cinematic Influence on Political Attitudes," was coauthored by Todd Adkins and Jeremiah Castle of the University of Notre Dame. It found that viewers who watched a movie with a message on health care (either Francis Ford Coppola's fairly polemical The Rainmaker or James L. Brooks' more subtle As Good As It Gets) generally saw their support for the Affordable Care Act, or similar policies, increase.
[...]

Quote

5. All the President's Men caused Republicans to favor more restrictions on the press.
The acclaimed 1976 film (directed by Alan J. Pakula and starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman) dramatizes Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein's investigation of the Watergate scandal, which exposed the abuse of power by Republican president Richard Nixon. All the President's Men is actually credited with boosting enrollment numbers at journalism school in the United States, due to the heroism of the two journalists. The film also affected the Republican and Democratic attitudes towards the press, according to a 1979 study by professors William R. Elliott, of the University of Oregon, and William J. Schenck-Hamlin, of Kansas State University. As you would probably guess, the study found that the movie caused liberal viewers to have a more positive view of the press and caused conservative ones to hold a more negative one.

In particular, after seeing the movie, Democrats agreed less with this statement "there should be laws that control some of the things reporters write and talk about." Republicans, however, moved in the opposite direction, and became significantly more in favor of press restrictions.

I find this particular bit very interesting.  Is the "liberal media bias" meme really just a reaction to this film and Watergate in general?  I find that fascinating, if true.  That's a long time to hold a grudge, especially when Nixon was actually guilty.  The idea that Republicans have been blaming the press and seeking to limit its credibility is simply staggering in its reach.  

Look, I'm not saying the press doesn't have a liberal bias.  I actually think the 4th estate does have a natural liberal bias, if you take liberal to mean progressive.  The Press will always seek to reveal and uncover corruption, upsetting the status quo.  The status quo is the bread and butter of conservatism.  So the press will pretty much always be at odds with conservatism if they are doing their job.

But the outright vitriol against the press?  Is that because it was the Press that brought Nixon down?  I

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#10 Omega

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 11:10 PM

I tend to trust news sources who aren't completely paid for by advertising. BBC, NPR, PBS NewsHour, and Al Jazeera are my primary list.

#11 Balderdash

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 06:21 AM

View PostOmega, on 12 January 2014 - 11:10 PM, said:

I tend to trust news sources who aren't completely paid for by advertising. BBC, NPR, PBS NewsHour, and Al Jazeera are my primary list.

Good list.

Another Democrat leaning Independent that has to search for truth because it can't be found on Fox News OR MSNBC.



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#12 Omega

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 08:18 AM

Of course, you have to take everything anyone says with a grain of salt, so "trusted" is relative. :) Al Jazeera, for example, is phenomenal for facts-on-the-ground in the Middle East. Also great if you're interested in opinions not your own. (And opinions are clearly distinguished from facts! Amazing, I know.) Sometimes just knowing what someone else's perspective is can be extremely valuable.



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