Thursday, June 20, 2024

Specht: Expand your news and information sources

by David Specht

Where do you get your news? It’s an important question, especially during this time of turmoil and division. 

Do you get your news from just one source? Do you rely on social media for your news?

Many of us remember the time when the only news sources we had were the morning newspaper and the evening television news, or perhaps a radio update. 

That is no longer the case today. There are 24 hour news channels, a host of news websites and apps, and, of course, social media.

Where is the truth? Where is the news with no agenda? Regardless of where you get your news, the information is disseminated through the worldview of the organization that is behind it.

Even though we in journalism are supposed to be unbiased observers, we are also human. Sometimes, how we present the facts is skewed by our worldview. It happens.

If that weren’t enough, how we as citizens consume the news is often just as biased as we are, especially if our primary sources of information are social media channels. 

When you think about your circle of influence on social media, your “newsfeed” is often filled with mostly content that resonates with your worldview.

After all, it is the job of the algorithms to serve you content you want to consume.

 It is not often we see a differing view in our personal feeds.

It doesn’t matter where you lean politically, it is dangerous to consume news that only agrees with your viewpoint. 

Someone that I greatly admire has both the Fox news app and the CNN app. They consume news from both so that they can make their own decision on where the truth lies.

It is sad that my friend has to do something like that. If you think about it, each organization presents the news that they believe will resonate with their audience.

Knowing this, it is understandable why a bias might be present. Therefore it is always important to open our minds and our news consumption.

We should realize that is it possible  an opinion which is contrary to our own is not only valid but may be correct. 

Instead of limiting our news consumption and social circles to those who only agree with us, we should begin to broaden our worldview.

We should consider other views as valid.

 It doesn’t matter if you’re in Shreveport, Bossier City, Baton Rouge, or Washington DC. As we try to solve real problems, both in government and in the private sector, we need to all work together for the common good.

To accomplish this, we need to broaden our views and have a willingness to accept someone else’s view.

This is no easy task, as it requires putting ego aside. But, in the end, our community, our state, and our nation will be the better for it.

David Specht is publisher of BIZ. Magazine

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