Be Informed

Staying up to date with the news is tedious, but important, work


Sruthi Ramesh

It is difficult to tell if a news source is left-leaning or right-leaning without consciously trying to identify biases.

Elizabeth Hamby, Co-Editor-In-Chief of The Ledger

News is a complex idea that journalists have been perfecting for ages. As Americans, we have the privilege to be able to inform ourselves about the world around us. Do you know how to be an informed citizen?

The first thing you should know, and what journalists should know too is you cannot believe everything you hear. That is rule No. 1 

So where do you start? This is a great first step to become an informed citizen, so you have come to the right place. 

Starting off with a word you have most likely heard from English class will be important here: bias. Bias intentionally or unintentionally comes out in a lot of news, which is part of the reason it can be unreliable. The first step to obtaining reliable information is to find and weed out the bias.  

Before you spread information around, make sure you know the foundation of the story, with all the facts, regardless of the article’s opinions. With politics, it is especially important to eliminate all political leanings when gathering the cold hard facts to form your opinion. 

It seems like nowadays, anything that occurs in the world falls in the category of politics. The looming presence of the decisions of lawmakers (or lack of them) clouds many people’s judgment of current events. It can be hard to decipher the truth from the bias of news sources. 

Many struggle to find a news source that doesn’t contain bias, which is why it is very important to build the skill of differentiating between facts and facts that biased toward a viewpoint. This act is in no question a valuable skill, and it can be extremely difficult and draining. 

This leads us to the possible dangers of staying on top of the happenings of the world. It could be damaging to your mental well-being depending on how much your emotions affect you.  It is important to keep a healthy boundary between you and the news, only consume what you are capable of. But know, that when you set these boundaries for yourself, you must be aware that you are not getting the full picture. This is ok, but important to keep in mind when forming opinions.  

There is no rush either, so ease yourself into the growing process. If you would like to learn more about healthily consuming the news, CLICK HERE

It is crucial to make educated decisions about the leaders of our country; not only politicians but you, yourself. All in all, it is very important to be as informed as you can because the future is in your hands.