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  • Writer's pictureSheri McGuinn

"Your" News

Updated: Dec 12, 2020

When I take the Roku to Reuter News, they ask how long I have to watch, then have me wait a moment while they prepare "your" news. I need to ask someone (with a Roku and Reuters but very different interests and viewpoints) to check the news the same time I do - and see who gets what stories.

On my Facebook feed today, there was a photo "covered" so I could decide whether or not to look at it. It was a little boy lying on the ground, presumably a dead Kurd. it made me remember the napalmed little girl running down the road in Vietnam - a photo that helped us move to end that war. Would it have had the same impact if we'd had the choice to look only at news we want to see?

Long ago, I had a friend who'd been in the OSS in Eastern Europe right after World War II. (The OSS morphed into the CIA later.) He'd been appalled at the idiocy of people for believing the propaganda and lies in the state newspaper, so he did an experiment. For some weeks he read only the state newspaper. At first he recognized lies for what they were; gradually he started saying the improbable "might" be true (with the knowledge base he was growing by reading that paper); eventually he came to doubt his own view of events he witnessed, when the paper gave a dramatically different account.

When we read only news that leans our way, we're self-propagandizing, which leads to believing the improbable and eventually denying reality. It leads to the polarization that is tearing this country (and others) apart.

It's tough, when so much of what we take in is already chosen as "your" news. But here's my challenge: pick at least two news sources the "other" guys consider reliable and spend as much time with them as you do with "your" news.

If you do this electronically, "your" news may start to be more balanced.

With enough balance, maybe we can work together again.

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