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Where do you go for balanced news?

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Yah, the former thread sorta degenerated, but it raised another issue:


Where do yeh go for balanced news?


I find it is really hard to stay informed these days. Most of the media outlets tend to just repeat what each other say, and none of 'em seem to do much research.


When I counsel Citizenship badges, I confess I make the boys look at the same story from multiple different outlets: Wall Street Journal, New York Times, CBC or BBC, The Economist, Christian Science Monitor, etc. And then spend some time when readin' blogs or op-ed opinion pieces looking up the background and experience of the author with the question "would you hire this person to consult on this topic?"


But in my day-to-day, I have a hard time findin' anything that provides good reporting consistently. Was wonderin' what other people did for daily news, or what if anyone has found any "gems" out there?


I like The Economist for world news, and some of their special section stuff makes for decent analysis, but of course it's not a daily.


What do the rest of you like?




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I'm not so sure that we want balanced news.

Many of us tend to, in whatever form it might be in (Print, TV, Radio. Get the news that slants the way we think it should.

I get a little hot under the collar whenever I happen to be channel surfing and stop at Fox News.

But I have to admit that at times even I find NPR Radio a little bit unfairly biased, the other way.

The local newspapers where I live are all owned and published by a family which is known to be very right wing. (Great supporters of the BSA.)

I do like the BBC World Service (Not so much BBC America.)

I also tend to look at what other countries post on their web sites about world news in the papers from that country.

Used to like US News and World Reports but sadly that is now gone.


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Well, it depends on what we are calling news these days. CNN, MSNBC and FOX have very little actual "news". When you have networks that operate 24/7/365, you have to fill the air with programming people will watch. Else, they will go out of business. No one offers news all day long so you can pop in, get the news and pop out. To keep the ad dollars coming in, they fill much of the time with opinion shows based around politics and current events. These are not news and should not be confused with the news. They are opinions of the news. Olberman is hanging so far over the ledt that you sometimes wonder if he is going to fall over the edge. Hannity is hanging over the right just as far. Glenn Beck.....he's just circus wacky.


But the news.......the real news that these networks offer is practically indistinguishable. It tells you who, what, where, when and how with little to no commentary. Sadly, people are confusing the entertainment shows on the news networks with real news. The actual "news" is pretty fair and balanced across the board.

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The news has become simply entertainment so consumers can select the news they want to hear.


So I get my news from - Weather Channel, South Park, ESPN, and Comedy Central. Sometimes ABC and NBC. CBS seems to have given up on providing any semblance of news.

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Speaking personally, I try not to trust the news much . . . except for the aforementioned "what, when, where".


Without exception, every nationally reported event of which I've had personal knowledge was significantly distorted, even before political bias was added in.


Likewise, I've never seen dependably accurate and useful analysis of current cultural issues where I have expertise and personal knowledge. Here, the problem has been that the writers simply did not have enough expertise in the realm they were covering to do any valid analysis. Particularly, it appears that there are virtually no journalists with significant personal knowledge of math and 'hard' science or engineering.


So, what I've taught my sons is a pretty radical skepticism regarding news and 'accepted wisdom' in all areas of life. A few things are known and trustworthy, but not that many. History seems to support the reasonableness of such skepticism. For example, it appears that there was nowhere on earth where one could have gotten "news" that would have enabled either Allied or Axis citizens to reach in 1914, or even 1917, an informed and reasoned judgment regarding WWI. The same appears to have been true regarding US citizens in 1860.


A positive value of the current Wikileaks mess is, I think, that it reveals how little public statements, and ordinary 'leaks', by US politicians and bureaucrats reveal of what's actually going on, either in their minds or international events.


Our troop is too new for me to have addressed such issues with our Scouts. But I know that our ASM -- once an aspiring professional historian -- has similar views, so that's what we'll probably teach there, too.



TN Scout Troop

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As you already know, I've subscribed to 'The Economist' for decades. I've tried US News, Time, National Review, but I really like The Economist - not just for the content but also for the snotty writing style. I doubt I'd have time for a daily with that kind of detail. So I also subscribe to the local (and here I mean really local) newspaper. The kind that actually reports on local community news with a nod here and there to national or international news. How else am I to learn which commissioner is being paid off by which contractor? Or what cat fight is going on at the local school board? (Hi, Vicki)

I use the internet for 'The Times', WSJ, etc. About 80% of my reading time, however, is spent on student papers, manuscript reviews, book reviews, or just reading the journals. H'mm that reminds me...bye.

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I get my news from my local paper (Gannett, decidedly left-wing), NBC, CBS, CNN and others but have to admit that the rare time I see Fox (which is at an odd time here) they seem to do the best job of presenting BOTH sides of an issue.


There are no right-wing (or even centerist) daily outlets here, so I have to sift and sort to find the real facts.



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I usually listen to NPR everyday and watch Foxnews in the evening combined with internet sites such as the Drudgereport. I have tried watching CNN, MSNBC, etc. but they are consistently biased. Fox presents the most even handed news but is light on facts and heavy on opinions.


With the exception of NPR, no news outlet does even a poor job with science stories - they all get an 'F'. Only NPR will interview scientists about a story. Even then, NPR wants to have a human interest aspect to the story if possible instead of focusing on the science. Everyone else will have politicians and even worse celebrities to discuss a science topic. They are nearly uniformly wrong. I wonder if the attorneys would say the same for legal issues - maybe not since they do have attorneys on and Fox has many attorneys presenting the news.


Along those lines of bias, I have never heard on any news outlet who discussed legalizing marijuana the drug marinol. Marinol has the active drugs in marijuana and has been available legally for decades. Due to a more gradual absorption, marinol does not provide a high as smoking marijuana does. Legalizing marijuana is all about legalizing people getting high - it has nothing to do with helping to treat glaucoma, nausea in cancer, and cachexia in cancer. This to me is an important component to the discussion but none of the news outlets want to discuss this. It makes me concerned that I cannot find reliable information from any source with any regularity on any subject.

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I trust different news people on different topics.


Lou Dobbs was a good source for imigration.

Neal Cavuto is good about looking at both sides of economic issues.

John Stossel always shoots straight with his investigative pieces.

George Will provides a good overview of politics.

Charles Krauthammer is a rapier to liberals.

Chris Matthews tries to do the same to conservatives.


Listen to 'em all, and make your own decisions.

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I watch C-SPAN most of the time. Washing Journal in the mornings is an interesting few hours of conservatives and liberals and their talking points, along with call-ins from folks around the Country giving their, usually biased, points of view. Can be very entertaining at times. Then, when in session, one can watch the House and Senate in action, or inaction as the case may be. The healthcare debate in Congress was mesmerizing. Want to really know what your Congress critter is saying and not just the talking points you hear on the news? Watch C-SPAN.


C-SPAN's Book TV and Newsmakers programs are also interesting and enlightening. I guess I just like to go to the source and form my own opinion after listening to both sides.


For general news, I watch CNN. In the late afternoon I watch Shepard Smith on Fox. Since I get up very early in the morning, I watch the reruns of the Fox evening lineup. Brett Baier's Special Report is the only program I can actually watch all the way through, however. All the others are merely opinion shows and greatly skewed to the right. For pure entertainment and a good laugh, I'll watch Glenn Beck from time-to-time. We don't get MSNBC in our area, so I can't opine on that channel.


I read Time, Newsweek, and USA Today, but not as regularly as I used to. I do subscribe to our local newspaper. Its editorial content leans heavily to the right (small conservative Southern town, after all), but a great way to keep informed about the community. Need to know who's been arrested? You'll find it there.

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Frankly Beavah, there is no such thing as balanced news, nor should there be. Everyone has a bias. THe idea of non-biased journalism is relatively recent. Back when most cities had two or three daily newspapers, a reader bought the one that's editorial policy closely matched his own, or he bought the one that did not so he could see what others were thinking. Personally I lean very conservative, so most of my reading goes that way, but I do read the opposition as well.


My favorite resource is www.freerepublic.com. Members will post a column or news story and then others are free to add comments, corrections or sometimes just snide retorts. They have also broken quite a few stories while the mainstream media is busy ignoring major issues.


For instance, I knew about the loss of Columbia a full 30 minutes before CBS began to broadcast. Dan Rather was fired for lying on a news story thanks to some investigative work by Free Republic members. The other side has a site also called Democatic Underground, but htey can get very nasty and obscene when they're not happy.


Good luck in your search

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It is the standard of care for most patients receiving chemotherapy to have a port placed so that they can be given IV anti-emetics such as phenergan, compazine, and zofran. Some cancer patients have mild persistent nausea that PO marinol sometimes helps. If they have significant emesis, they should receive IV meds through their port and may require fluid resuscitation. Smoking marijuana is not needed. As far as whats the harm, how many families including minors have you seen killed or maimed by someone high on marijuana? How many accidents of other kinds have you seen due to being high? I have and continue to see far too many people harmed by the drug. Since it is fat soluble, it remains in the body much longer than alcohol.


The real point in this thread is that the news media does such a poor job in reporting all of the pertinent facts in the debate. Most people believe that the only way to get the benefits of the active drugs in marijuana is to smoke it. That is not true, the users just don't get high. That is clearly an important point not brought out so that people can make fully informed decisions.

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