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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Journalism, it's not what it used to be

I got up this morning, let the dog out, did my little exercises, and turned on the computer. I checked my email, the weather, Facebook, checked my favorite blogs for new posts, and activated my Pintrest account. I'll read the local paper with my morning tea, and listen to NPR when I drive into town.

Where do you get your information these days?

Once upon a time there was a countable number of news sources. When I was a kid the entire country watched the same 3 network TV stations. My entire state watched the same local UHF station and the same PBS station. There were 2 newspapers (out of Denver), and a handful of radio stations we could listen to. For local news we called a friend and gossiped.

Today there is cable TV, digital radio, and (cue big voice) The Internet. The internet is a game changer. Absolutely anyone with internet access can get their message out there. You could use a desk top computer, a lap top computer, a hand held android or even just your cell phone to post. If you don't have those, access to a public library will do it.

So how did you choose to get your information this morning? Newspaper? Radio? TV? (cable or broadcast?) WorldWideWeb? If you're on-line, what site did you choose for your sources? BBC? NPR? Washington Post? Washington Times?

There is no longer a countable number of news sources. Every blogger is a journalist. Every person who posts a comment on a site is reporting their experience and opinion. Every person can now be a journalist. What does that mean?

It means that we now have a lot of information to sort through. The good news is that there is no reason to remain ignorant of just about anything. Yet there isn't enough time in the world to follow everything of interest or concern. How we choose, individually, to sort through it will be skewed by our own bias. What we see will skew our bias. We each now have a responsibility to search out information that challenges those biases.

I'd be interested to know - How do you get your news? Are there ways you challenge your own bias or seek out contrary news sources?

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