Nowadays inaccurate stories spread faster than credible articles, and while you might try to run from the news, being completely clueless about the events that indirectly or directly impact you doesn’t do you any good. At first glance, the 24-hour news cycle looks overwhelming and the fake news and real stories look the same. But lucky for you, I have some tips on how to read the news critically.
Have Multiple Sources
Many news articles you read contain a hint of bias weaved into them, and a lot of people will write pieces entirely based on their beliefs without taking the time to review what the opposing side believes and only provides information that backs up their claims. For this reason, it is crucial to look at more than one publication. Reading opinionated content isn’t always a bad thing, but analyzing multiple sources gives you a complete understanding of the issue at hand and allows you to draw a more insightful conclusion. When you consume news from different reliable organizations it will help you stay away from extreme bias and misinformation.
Look Beyond The Teaser
Many people are often guilty of assuming the headline for a news story is a description of the entire article, but the header only tells a portion of the story. Journalists use excerpts for the sole purpose of grabbing viewers’ attention, so now that the teaser captured your eye, read the full report. People share story posts on Twitter alongside their angry tweet concerning the material they didn’t even take the time to read about. Looking at the full piece is beneficial in understanding a situation and will prevent you from looking like an idiot on Twitter.
Search For Reliable Sources Throughout The Piece
In your efforts to be well-informed, it is essential you know where news organizations get their facts. Corporations who strive to post accurate content will provide links to where they received their information especially if they include specific statistics or facts. Check to make sure the news channel uses reliable sources. Dependable websites will cite from data such as studies conducted by accredited universities or government agencies, stories written by legitimate journals or quotes from qualified individuals. If blogs link to sponsored content or quote people who are not considered experts in the field, you might have to look for another publication.
You have to be consistent with the content if you want to be knowledgeable, and at times it may feel like hundreds of breaking news coverages or exclusive interviews are thrown your way. You don’t have to keep with everything that pops up instead you can check it a few times a week and leave it alone for a couple days. Not every new update will change the situation immediately. Once you learn this, you won’t feel swamped with information but will still keep up with the most important stories.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions
You can’t always believe everything you read online, so it is important to question the material you consume. If you see sketchy things such as quotes that look out of context, significant unanswered questions or selective coverage of events, it is possible the publication is not telling you the entire story. Knowing only a portion of the story doesn’t offer you any benefits, so examining the piece to find the full story keeps you from being ill-informed.
Keeping up with the world is not as scary as it appears to be. In order to efficiently read the news, you have to be a critical thinker. Not everything you read will be the truth, so be sharp and read between the lines for the real story.