Kaitlyn Dunnett/Kathy Lynn Emerson here. Every once in a while a chart like the one below pops up in my Facebook “news” feed.
It rates the bias of various news sources and is valuable because “news” reports are no longer required by law to be truthful.
I’m not a news junkie and never have been, but back when I was in high school our senior English teacher required us to subscribe to the New York Times for a short period of time. I don’t remember, fifty-seven years later, how much of it I read, but I do recall that my parents, both registered Democrats in our mostly Republican New York town, subscribed to Time, Newsweek, and U. S. News and World Report and had copies of both the Middletown Record and the New York Daily News delivered to the house. Those I did read, at least in part. In addition, we watched the evening news on television. I don’t recall which station we regularly watched, but I can remember listening to broadcasts by both Walter Cronkite and Huntley & Brinkley. It is with good reason that Cronkite was considered the most trusted man in America. Back then, news was actually news. Opinions were clearly labeled as such.
Fast forward to today. I confess I stopped reading print newspapers and magazines a long time ago, but we’ve always watched the local affiliate of NBC here in Maine for both local and national nightly news. If it was biased, I wasn’t consciously aware of it until the 2016 Presidential election.
That was about the same time I broke down and went on Facebook (under my pseudonym and for strictly, I thought, promotional purposes). It didn’t take me long to realize just how political social media was, or to get involved in reposting items that aligned with my own beliefs.
I’m sure you can see where this is going. Yes, dear reader, I do get most of my news from Facebook these days, but I like to think I’m both selective and savvy about the sources I accept. These days I look for well-considered and documented “reporters” on current issues. The standouts are Heather Cox Richardson’s daily summaries (with historical background) of events, mostly political. She’s a scholar, a college professor, and a Mainer. I trust her conclusions absolutely because she backs them up with both history and logic. Two other posts I regularly read are written by veteran newsman Dan Rather (“News and Guts) and by Steve Benen for “The Maddow Blog,” associated with Rachel Maddow’s in-depth reporting on NBC.
Are they biased? Of course they are. But they are far more reliable than, say, Fox News. I like to believe I think for myself, but no one can come to any conclusions if they don’t have facts.
Where is Walter Cronkite when we really need him?
Kathy Lynn Emerson/Kaitlyn Dunnett has had sixty-four books traditionally published and has self published others, including several children’s books. She won the Agatha Award and was an Anthony and Macavity finalist for best mystery nonfiction of 2008 for How to Write Killer Historical Mysteries and was an Agatha Award finalist in 2015 in the best mystery short story category. She was the Malice Domestic Guest of Honor in 2014. Her most recent publications are The Valentine Veilleux Mysteries (a collection of three short stories and a novella, written as Kaitlyn) and I Kill People for a Living: A Collection of Essays by a Writer of Cozy Mysteries (written as Kathy). She maintains websites at www.KaitlynDunnett.com and www.KathyLynnEmerson.com.