By: Matthew Willarch
So I’m assuming you’re here right now because you enjoy reading news articles. Good, I’m proud of you and I’m sure there is a common issue that you face that a lot of people who read articles have, especially when reading news. How do you read articles without bias? Well today is your lucky day, evening, night? Whatever.
One important thing that comes with reading news without bias is common sense, which MerriamWebster.com defines as, ¨Sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts.¨ Which means if a news article doesn’t sound right it probably isn’t right.
Common sense unfortunately is very hard to come by nowadays and I talk about that a lot more in my other articles in my opinion section which you should check out *hint hint.* But on a more serious note common sense is very important when reading because it allows you to analyze what exactly the writer is saying in depth to get a proper understanding of what underlying themes are taking place; is the reporter trying to inform you or lead you astray? Use your common sense to find out.
Another important tip is to do your research. I understand this one is a little weird considering that you are reading a news article to do research but stay with me. There are certain key things that a person can research on to test the validity of an article.
Take this article on Napoleon from Wikipedia that I altered slightly. ¨Napoléon Bonaparte was a French statesman and military leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the French Revolutionary Wars. He was Emperor of the French from 1840 until 1860 and again briefly in 1865 during the Hundred Days.¨
Notice anything kind of off during that. Go ahead take your time. It’s the dates Napoleon was in power from 1804 until 1814 and again briefly in 1815. It’s these kinds of errors that you as a reader can do research on to test the validity of an article.
Lastly is compare and contrast data from different news sources. This is probably the most important thing I’ve listed thus far so make sure to pay attention. When reading news, the most important thing is the way things are worded.
Take for example the allegations with Kyrsten Sinema and how the propaganda speeches against her will make you believe that she supports child prostitution. When in reality, as so gracefully given by azcentral.com, ¨Sinema raised concerns at the time about how some of those caught soliciting might not have been able to tell that the children being solicited were, in fact, children.¨
So now that we’ve gone over three helpful tips for reading news articles lets review: use common sense, always do research and always, always, always compare and contrast data from other news outlets, but to be fair you can’t really do one of these things without doing all of these things.
So here’s the news: Pay attention.