(TargetLiberty.org) – The American public’s confidence in media truthfulness has continued to erode in recent months. The Trump administration and Donald Trump, in particular, pushed back against media bias all throughout his term.
Axios recently confirmed public concern about news bias, reporting that trust in mainstream media (MSM) has reached an all-time low, with fewer than half of all Americans having faith in traditional news sources.
Breaking it down by the numbers:
- 58% of the American public think the media is more concerned with supporting a political agenda or ideological position than keeping the American people informed.
- 56% of them agree the media is deliberately misleading them by knowingly reporting false or exaggerated information.
- 18% of Republicans trust media sources compared with 57% of Democrats.
So, with having a clear idea of the extent of the problem, what’s the solution?
How to Know Which News to Trust
A group of librarians at California State University developed a system called CRAAP for determining the accuracy of information and sources.
CRAAP is an acronym standing for five important terms: Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose. Each term includes a few simple questions to consider when questioning the reliability of a news source.
- Currency: When was the information published or posted online? Is it current? Was it updated? If so, when?
- Relevance: Is the information consistent with other news sources? Does it directly relate to your topic of interest?
- Authority: Is the author or source of the news item a known authority? It is an expert, a well-respected news organization, an educational institution, or a research center?
- Accuracy: Is the article supported by facts from known sources? Is the information peer-reviewed? Is its tone objective or opinion-based?
- Purpose: Why was the news item written? Was it written to entertain or to inform? Is it trying to convince the reader of something or to sell a product or service?
Faith in American institutions like the government and media is the glue that holds society together. Restoring that faith will take a concerted effort by those who govern our country and dictate what our citizens hear and read.
In the meantime, keeping a healthy amount of skepticism regarding traditional news sources is probably your best course of action.
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