Please take a moment,
America has become polarized to the point that reasoned discussion is impossible. In this “Post-Fact” Age of “Alternative Facts”, we feel “News Presentation” and the related “actual facts” need a better approach.
Not so long ago, for validating information, “trusted authority sources” included Encyclopedias (often at home) and printed articles–sourced in libraries. These included books, magazines, and newspapers, etc., all of which were fact checked before publication.
“Opinion and Editorial” pieces were labeled as such–a filter the internet lacks. “Freedom of Speech” allows “fact checked” media to be equally treated, and with the same authority as “opinion” and false and intentionally misleading content.
The Mercury Times is important, because insight isn’t possible if internet searches return pages of identical “word for word” parroted “news articles”. Americans with hectic busy lives lack time to settle a moment and examine what “didn’t sound right” (or, the two that sounded wrong before that). The barrage of so many loud opinions is making many Americans just “give up”.
Meanwhile, because the Institutions that historically fought falsehoods have reduced or eliminated their Research Staffs due to budget cuts, the intentional sowing of confusion is weakening American society.
Even with Mankind’s accumulated knowledge at its fingertips, rather than exhibiting cognizance and wisdom, the United States is devolving into tribes.
As Americans and as citizens we should disagree.
Discourse is how problems and potential answers get addressed. Democracy is based on some amount of seeming chaos of opposing views and needs getting voiced. While writing the Constitution, the first Americans exhibited vigorous, healthy, and heated debates about what was reasonable– based on truths they had the luxury of calling “self-evident.”
The Mercury Times is an essential component. But, the answer is You.
In summary, the times have changed. News platforms are awash in a sea of impostors which has eroded their ability to provide reasoned, researched, and verified news to a disenchanted citizen. For most, it isn’t that they don’t care, or don’t have interest. Rather, they believe their voice is “unheard” and that they don’t have influence. Trust in government is at an all time low. That topic will also be addressed. This article is about what to change in “news sourcing, ” and it does involve a consumer that keeps their rational mind active as a sentry vigilant for misrepresentations and fighting one’s own proclivity for Confirmation Bias.
Social Media – “If it’s free, YOU are the product.”
To be clear, you aren’t a “Client” of Facebook, or Twitter or any social media platform. You are it’s “product”. What they sell is your attention- the ability to put in front of you whatever they want you to see. Because that model only works if they are indeed putting “desired content” in your “news feed”, “what you like” is measured intricately. If a Paid Advertisement is not “liked” or clicked on frequently, the advertiser pays more to have the social media platform make you see it. Where does that lead? You only see what you like.
“News Bubbles- What I see is me.”
As a result of powerful algorithms, and immense amounts of data (including “surveys” of favorites in music and personal tastes, geocoding, comments made, articles read, items purchased, friends’ activities, etc), Social Media Platforms know each individual better than they know themselves.
Each person has inadvertently, with the eager assistance of Social Media’s desire to flop