Many people get the majority of their news from a few favorite sources. Some people even rely on just one source. If you rely on a handful of news outlets for your news, it’s important to carefully select them. When deciding where to get your news from, here are three considerations to take into account.
Is the Outlet Single-Sided?
Some news outlets have a bias towards a particular vantage point, such as a political or religious worldview. It’s not bad to rely on an outlet that provides news from a single vantage point — it even makes sense to do so if you share their worldview.
You should, however, be aware of the tendencies that the news outlets you rely on have. This will help you understand their perspective, and you’ll have a better appreciation for the stories they tell and why they share those stories.
Does the Outlet Provide Targeted Stories?
Some news outlets provide a broad range of stories, while others provide targeted stories for specific people. Social media is especially good at providing targeted stories, as users are shown similar stories based on what they like and share, and what their friends (who presumably have similar interests) like and share.
There are both advantages and disadvantages to getting your news through an outlet that provides targeted stories. On the one hand, you’ll get to hear or read more about specific areas that interest you. On the other hand, you might miss major stories that aren’t in the subject areas you follow.
You may want to use an outlet that doesn’t provide targeted stories and one that does, so you can both remain up to date on the most important current events and knowledgeable about the areas you’re interested in.
Does the Outlet Provide Stories in a Format You Can Access?
Today, there are more ways to access news stories than there ever have been before. You can read newspapers, magazines and journals, watch television, listen to radio broadcasts and podcasts, stream online shows, and read online news outlets and blogs.
What formats are most accessible for you will depend on what you spend your time doing. If you drive a lot, you might want to listen to news programs on the radio or download news-focused podcasts. If you’re online, you might want to read blogs and online news outlets. Find a format that works for you, and then find outlets that offer news in that accessible format.
There isn’t a right or wrong way to access and digest news. You should, however, use these three questions to think about what news outlets will be best for you personally.