[NOTE: This originally was written as a post on Facebook on January 21, 2017 at 9:09 AM — I added the Medium link at the bottom.]
It‘s hard to digest truth both from established media sources and from social internet media sources. Here’s how I deal with the problem.
First, I already know reliable sources (journals and reporters) whom I’ve read over time that give me a comfort level regarding what’s reported and why. Whenever in doubt on any issue, I go to these sources seeking verification.
Secondly, in most cases, reporting usually includes sources of reference which explain how information was obtained. Make a point to go to those references and then check for reference links within those secondary sources.
It’s no longer possible these days simply to read, learn and believe. Today, you’ve got to read and then dig deeply in order to get a fair impression to what’s really going on.
For example, if you see a story of interest appear in what’s considered a fake news site, don’t automatically discount it? It makes better sense to check it out and see what references exist within the reporting that can then help you come to a conclusion.
With regular news it’s important to realize the reporters do not make the headlines. This is the purview of the editor, who also has the power to delete. Keep in mind an editor has in the back of his or thinking the daunting question: How do I sell the news and will this please the publisher?
Also, the crux of the information you seek may not be found either in the headline or within the early paragraphs. Sometimes the nitty-gritty, the operative phrasing, is buried deep in the middle of the reporting and sometimes it can simply be a disclaimer at the end.
A great example of this was the recent reporting relative to allegations the Russians influenced the election and that Russian hacking contributed to the Wikileaks exposures on the DNC and John Podesta.
If you read each and every report in mainstream media on this subject you will find no actual forensic proof is provided. Rather the crux of the story originates from anonymous “inside” sources or unpublished reports. And when a report is released there is usually a disclaimer at the bottom. Meanwhile, the untrained reader simply goes along believing what they are reading is truthful, when it often is not.