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Media Advice: Wait for It

A few months ago, I reviewed the book No Time to Think by Rosenberg and Feldman. The book is about how the 24/7 news cycle is destroying credible journalism and possibly our society as well.

With so many volatile topics in the news these days, I thought I’d share a few key lessons that I learned from the book that might help make you a better news consumer:

  • Ignore stories with anonymous sources. – These are often wrong and are usually pushed by people with an agenda. That’s why they won’t go on the record. An exception can be made for whistleblowers who provide evidence besides their statements — provided that the independent evidence is published. This is my exception, not the authors.
  • Ignore stories writing about people in the future tense (i.e. The President will say …, The governor is expected to propose .., etc) – No one really knows what will happen till it happens. Speculation stories are just an effort to feed the voracious 24/7 news cycle.
  • Take the very first report on a subject with a large grain of salt. – The news cycle puts a premium on being first. This usually results in skipping fact-checking which would delay the story being posted. Wait for several reports on a breaking story before drawing any conclusions.

Have any other tips for news/media viewing? Leave a comment.

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