How to really read the news in 2022

Design: Fatima Jahan Ena

Anyone would agree that today's world is more informed than it has ever been, thanks to the ever-growing list of news outlets, especially on social media. However, this also means that today's world can potentially be the most misinformed or confused it has ever been as knowing which news sources to trust is no easy task in 2022.

To make consuming news a bit more streamlined for you, here are some points to keep in mind the next time you start reading up on something.

Cover the spectrum with your sources

In other words, no matter what your take is on a particular topic, always read what opponents have to say. Not only will this practice ensure that you have a comprehensive view of the subject at hand, sometimes it can also expose you to loopholes in your arguments, or the opposition's. After all, whether they admit it or not, news outlets are often organizations with agendas of their own. Personal biases of owners and sponsors often seep into the print, and important details end up missing or altered. As a result, it's best to cross-examine an issue from different angles to make sure you know what's going on.

Read between the lines

This is where being a present reader comes in handy. Instead of mindlessly accepting certain facts or sentiments as valid, it is better to keep an eye out for possible implications. Is the piece you are reading subtly shifting the blame of an accident towards a certain individual or party? Does the suggestion have any solid proof to back it up, and is the evidence traceable? Questions like these often help to clarify the purpose of a writeup and ensure that whatever opinion you ultimately hold, you hold consciously.

Take note of who the writer is

This tip is especially important if you are reading an opinion piece. Even a quick scan of the writer's religious or political affiliations can tell you whether their opinions are based on facts or an underlying motive, in which case you might not want to let their opinion dictate how you see a certain issue.

Pay more attention to freelance writers

Major news corporations might always seem like the more reputable, trustworthy source of information but freelance journalists always deserve a shot. After all, journalists working for said corporations often have restrictions or demands from superiors that they need to comply with, which is not something freelance journalists have to worry about.

Freelance journalists are all the better when they specialize in a certain concept or region and live in close proximity to that area, because this means that they are delivering news straight from the source. That being said, it is important to ensure that the freelancers you follow are doing the necessary field work and providing you with acceptable evidence, especially if their work is based on social media. If their journalism is more like overzealous Twitter rants than actual journalism, you'll be better off moving on to a new freelancer.

On an ending note, although the endless options of news sources and their biases can make reading news seem very scary and tiring, it's not necessarily true. It all comes down to sticking to these few basic rules and figuring out what reading habits work best for you.

Fabiha is secretly a Lannister noblewoman and Slytherin alum. Pledge your allegiance and soul to her at [email protected]