The Basics of News Research

The Basics of News Research

( – In the age of “fake news,” it’s important to have media sources you know you can rely on. Unfortunately, spreading false or misleading information is now easier than ever, which means more and more of the news we read is either biased or factually incorrect.

Major media outlets have corporate interests they need to consider when publishing stories. Providing readers with accurate and productive content isn’t always their priority. With this in mind, we need to take responsibility for our own news consumption. There are a few important steps we can take to ensure we understand what’s really happening in the world.

Consider the Provider

Learn to spot the media outlets that aren’t reliable sources of news and current affairs content. Some common “red flags” include basic writing style and simple grammatical mistakes. If the producer of a piece of content doesn’t have time to write properly, they’re unlikely to have time to conduct thorough research.

Watch out for deliberately inflammatory language. If a writer is trying to provoke a strong reaction, they’re less likely to stick to the facts.

While large news corporations aren’t what they used to be in terms of unbiased reporting, they can usually be relied upon to recount the basic facts of important events. This is always the most important place to start; look for opinionated content once the facts are known.

Use Multiple Sources

Even the most established publications tend to focus on certain kinds of stories and ignore others. This can be down to political bias or the fact certain kinds of posts are more likely to generate clicks.

Make sure to consume content from a few different providers to see everything of importance and obtain different perspectives on the main news items.

Have Productive Discussions With Friends

Sometimes, the best way to develop an understanding of something is to talk through it with someone else, face-to-face. Many political and social issues are detail-heavy and difficult to understand. Discussing them informally can help us to get a better grasp of what’s going on.

We’re stressing the word “productive” here because it is easy to end up in an argument when talking about current affairs. The easiest way to avoid this is by grounding our statements in fact and being respectful in everything we say. Some disagreement is normal, and may even lead to a greater understanding of the topic at hand. However, if talking points are turning nasty, it might be time to talk about something else.

It can sometimes seem like the odds are stacked against us when we’re trying to form a well-researched opinion on current affairs. However, once we learn to navigate the noise and focus on what’s important, we’ll find it much easier to spot and avoid misleading content.

Copyright 2020,