How to become a more sophisticated news consumer

I recently found that has become more and more worried, angry and discouraged after reading the news. However, I update the news app on my phone (my main camera today the shipping news) several times a day — like a rat, looking for another drop of sweet water. Like most people, I believe that the responsibilities of citizens in a democratic state is to be an informed person, but I fear that the constant flow of information exceeds our ability to complete his treatment. Regardless of political beliefs, we all agree that the news cycle can at times seem ruthless. So I threw myself into research and talked with experts about how we can all become more sophisticated consumers of news.

1. Determine the correct dose. Psychiatrist Katherine shear (M. Katherine Shear), Director of the Center for the study of complex types of pain (the Center for Complicated Grief) Columbia University (Columbia University), many people hear that they are under great impact of news. Politically saturated materials and the stories of human suffering can cause sadness, anger and even feelings of grief and loss, she says.

According to a study conducted in 2015, pam Ramsden (Ramsden Pam), which studies issues of psychological stability in Bradford University (University of Bradford) in England, 22% of subjects suffered from some symptoms of PTSD (including from fear or from faith in what the world is extremely dangerous), and it happened after watching a video in social networks from news programs with scenes of violence. In addition, their health deteriorated when more prolonged viewing of such videos. “We need to go there and feel the pain, then we will need to push it to the side,” says Shire. But if we are talking about an emotionally saturated the news, “you have to learn to determine their own dose.”

2. Read not only the headlines. Five or six words will never be able to convey the content of the whole article, but people regularly exchange news based on the headlines. To such conclusion gabelkov Maxim (Maksym Gabielkov) and Artie Ramachandran (Arthi Ramachandran) from Columbia University. Within one month they collected all messages on Twitter — including links using Bitly, reducing ‘ locator URL on a few major news stories, and then compare them with what has accumulated in the journal of the Bitly links.

After processing the collected data, these researchers came to the conclusion that the majority (59%) references were not used, and the articles themselves do not read. It is not surprising that social networks are awash with repetitive chatter. My friend Andrew was Devigal (Andrew DeVigal), Professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, offers a way to show your friends that you have shown your share of the effort. “When I share with someone a link, I am also sending a certain part of the content in order to make people understand why I react to it and why I want to talk about it”.

3. Do yourself a fact check. 23% of people admit that they are sharing fake news on Facebook and this happened either by accident or was done intentionally. These data are contained in a study carried out in 2016 by the organization Pew Research Center. As a journalist I’m tempted to arrogantly tell all this to people who willingly remain ignorant. However, news ecosystem today is very congested and difficult, and I understand why the navigation today is associated with big problems. If there is any doubt, then we need to cross-check. Have devigal often refers to these resources as AllSides, and Snopes, hoping to get a more complete picture and determine what is true and what is false, what is fact and what is opinion.

4. Make more variety in your news diet. In social networks we often communicate with similarly-minded friends, and so many of us are closed in the echo chamber, where most of the news we read or watch, just confirming what we already believe. Other aspects of our news diets are also not in order.

The study, conducted by Pew Research Center in 2014 a national scale, showed that supporters of the conservatives, unlike other ideological groups rely heavily on one source of information, on the Fox News channel in regard to political and governmental news. (A few details: 47% “traditional supporters of the conservatives” talking about the fact that most of the information they receive from the programs of Fox News channel; people with mixed political ideology are more focused on CNN and local news programs; and “consistent liberals” equally divide your attention between CNN, NPR radio station, cable TV station MSNBC and the New York Times newspaper).

News landscape, just as the world in General, is in constant motion. Organizations that for decades was considered a Bastion of reliable information, today the President of the United States regularly calls “biased” or “fake”, while some media, in fact, blur the distinction between reportage and attempts to attract the attention of the audience, based on opinion and not on facts. In this unprecedented time, I began to take responsibility for my own information, making it with one small step: I diversificarea my news app and include a variety of sources, including the Washington Post, Washington Times, Guardian, NPR radio and Fox News channel.

Such diverse views on current events help me to get an idea of what is really going on in the outside world — isn’t this function must be performed by the information?