my news media consumption practices in the trump era

since the trump era has begun, there are two practices i’ve been trying to incorporate into my news media consumption habits. a friend (can’t remember who… i think it was karen?) pushed me to write this up a few months ago, but i’m just getting around to it now. two the practices are getting news (mostly) from my friends and consuming news pieces created by people who are affected by the content/subject matter of the piece.

getting news (mostly) from my friends

shortly after the election, there was a lot of talk about “media/news bubbles.” there was a narrative that claimed people were consuming increasingly news that aligned with their political ideologies or worldviews. some of the blame for this phenomenon was placed on things like social media (twitter & facebook). some was put on news media sites and for two reasons. first, for pushing increasing amounts of clickbait (because of needing ad revenue) and second for catering to specific audiences without covering stories “evenly.”

all those potential weaknesses being said, the bigger risk to me seems to be “fake news.” and by that, i mean “news” written by people with no real journalistic merit. because it’s so easy to put a piece on the internet now, it’s increasingly difficult to find news journalism that isn’t garbage. so in order to avoid that, i mostly read articles my friends share with me (via social media, direct messaging somehow (email, text), or pocket). i trust my friends enough (and have little enough time) to take the bubble risk over the fake news risk.

consuming news created by people who are affected by the content/subject matter of the piece

this is really a self-determination point. i’m increasingly sure that journalism (because of funding structures) done by people not impacted by the subject matter of the story is impossible to be authentic. i’m not totally giving up on it, but it just seems so difficult to have stories be covered in the right way if the accountability is to the news outlet and not the people in the story.

anyway, these two constraints have actually made there just be a lot less news that i can read. it’s actually been great because it’s meant that i can spend way more time reading books. and reading books, i read one time, gives people way better long-run perspective than keeping up with day-to-day news.

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