My Seven Ways to Filter the Daily Barrage of News
We now live in a world of 24 hour news. There are hundreds of TV channels, radio, and millions of websites. This is how I filter the daily bombardment of news.
(1) I am aware that the primary focus of so-called news outlets–both right and left–is to make money.
There is very little, if any, investigative reporting anymore. So think of news outlets as a thin layer of ice, not the depth of an iceberg.
(2) I am aware that almost all headliners are written to gain an audience–many clicks and video watches.
They make any topic apocalyptic, major, and the end of the democracy. And the headliners normally include words like “possibly, maybe, could” etc.
(3) I am aware that much of the so-called news is a strategic attempt to tear someone down or spin a topic.
Very, very little is objective and neutral. Also, most articles use generalized statements with little specific content.
(4) I am aware that the so-called news outlets elevate their importance and relevance by claiming the role to “inform and protect the “people” from those in political power.
The media claims to be our protectors. When in reality, they are a now simply major businesses. News outlets are just as political as political parties.
(5) I use a two circle framework to filter news headlines.
Draw a large circle and then a smaller circle inside the larger circle. I do this in my mind. Then I place insignificant stories–which is the majority of headlines–in the outer circle. This is what I call the “circle of noise.” Like “a man throws a hot pizza in the face of a woman. She possibly will need major surgery.” In the smaller circle I place significant stories that can truly impact our lives and advance political power. For example, president Trump was able to nominate two justices to the Supreme Court. By using this two circle framework I am able to distinquish the wheat from the chaff (noise).
(6) I am aware that the first reporting of a story is usually incomplete or even fake news.
News agencies want to get a big bang out of a headline, not to get the full truth before publishing. So, I don’t overreact and wait a week or so to see the story unfold, for the truth to emerge.
(7) I pray and ask God for discernment and wisdom.
This is how I filter the barrage of daily news. Maybe this can also help you in our world of mostly “noise.”