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Where do you go for balanced news?

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Yah, how weird to click page 2 of my news media thread and find myself smoking marijuana. :p


Then we look to news outlets that justify those opinions and discount outlets that challenge them. The problem now is we have news outlets that satisfy those needs and don't offer a reasonable challenge.


Part of my reason for askin', eh?


But there's a different reason, too. I'm not just lookin' for challenge/alternate viewpoints, lookin' for good research and data! There's so much blathering "opinion" flyin' about that it's hard to find a consolidated source for well-researched, informative description with limited commentary.


In that way, my experience is da same as vol_scouter's, eh? In the fields that I know well, I can't find anybody who is doin' a good job of providing cogent, in-depth, intelligent, data-based reporting outside da specialty services and journals. So I assume that they're doin' as completely inept a job in fields that I don't know as well.


I'd like some good science reportin' without havin' to become a scientist and pore through science journals, for example. I shouldn't have to rely on packsaddle and vol_scouter. ;)




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For National politics, I figure the truth is somewhere in-between Fox News and NPR.


For State politics, Missouri is pretty rural; lots of small town radio stations subscribe to a service in Jeff City. It's called missourinet, and it reports pretty straight-up. I also use the Columbia Missourian (J-School newspaper at the University of Missouri).


For local politics, I read the Jackson County Democrat, errr, Kansas City Star, and auto-compensate to the right about 40 degrees.


For business, WSJ and the Financial Times.

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...waking up...what? Huh?

Did someone mention science?

I can't speak for vol_scouter but my experience is that in order to understand issues that affect society and are based in new scientific breakthroughs, it REQUIRES at least some medium-duty lifting, so-to-speak. Heck, in my own field I have to work to stay on top of it...no way to expect the public to be there with me. I try to do my part by writing articles for local civic groups on topics in my field. I try to dispel myths and misconceptions and so far, knock on formica, I've been successful.

One thing I've learned NOT to do is to try to 'inform' a politician. Or a lawyer (sorry Beav). They seem to hear what they want to hear and once that misconception is established, it's almost impossible to tear it down and get it right. Moreover, the politicians at least are prone to shooting their mouths off about things they actually barely grasp. I avoid the frustration by avoiding THEM.


But as for the media, if you look at the front end of Science, you'll notice something quite different from years ago. The journal has summaries of articles written so that the gist and the relevance of the real deal can be understood without needing to understand 'ATCCAGGATTCGA...'.

Then there's American Scientist. That has decent articles as well.

All in all, I agree with Beavah. The science that's reported in the newspapers or on television is 'sketchy' at best and while that's bad, the worst thing is that people are likely to read or watch that stuff and think they actually 'know' something. They probably won't. Back to the nap....zzzzzzzz

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I agree with you there. I try to read some from Science and Nature each week along with the New England Journal of Medicine. That is almost all online. I receive email alerts in medicine from professional organizations that spurs some reading. The rest of my reading is directly related to my various research fields. It is difficult to impossible to frame scientific problems that have social implications in terms that most people can understand. Our society is nearly scientifically illiterate. That is partly an educational problem and partly due to the complexity of today's science. You are so correct that politicians and often attorneys get a particular view point that has some truth but does not represent the entire issue. I have found that you can change the mind of an attorney but it takes a lot of effort.


In medicine, I have found a related issue - informed consent - to have the same issues. It is nearly impossible to obtain truly informed consent with many folks because they do not understand anything about their own body. One cannot spend a few minutes to overcome that. I have also tell family members that their loved one is doing poorly in the ICU. After spending 20-30 minutes painting a grim picture, the only thing remembered is the minor positive finding.


In science, it is easy to find reasonably good and reliable information in the top peer reviewed journals. This is not true for political and social issues where misinformation is rampant. I should expect it, because most science stories are wrong or the story teller draws inaccurate conclusions.

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Just an aside about informed consent. When we prepare consent forms for a new study, we must be careful to make sure they are not written above an eighth grade literacy level. Not all that easy when dealing with genetics.


I can't believe I forgot to mention the most important source of my news - Facebook. That's right. I can always count on reading a non-biased, fact-based, fully informed post from a friend, who reposted from her friend, who got it from her boyfriend, who posted after reading it on his buddy's page, who got it from his sister's, boyfriend's, mother's, Farmville Neighbor's, hairdresser's, dog walker's, best friend.

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Scoutfish, the smoking itself doesn't harm the other people. Yes, smoking marijuana and driving can harm other people, but that isn't the smoking per se ("itself") that does it.


Just like innocent peole do not get harmed by alcohol, but through the action of those who use it.


Correct. I was responding to "Smoking marijuana causes harm to innocent people" and pointing out the same thing.


You know, being accurate instead of histrionic. Like balanced news.

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