How can you find truth in all the noise
In a recent poll by Minnesota media outlets, it was found that a year after the 2020 election, 40% of Minnesotans were either not sure if Joe Biden won the presidency legitimately or didn’t think he legitimately won at all.
This is despite bipartisan affirmations of the 2020 election’s integrity by top election officials.
The world seems to become more overwhelming every day. True and untrue contradictory information is everywhere and vying for attention. However it doesn’t need to be this way. With a bit of humility and better research tools, staying accurately informed is far from impossible.
When researching a topic, don’t believe everything you see on the internet. If the source seems obscure or one sided, be skeptical. Many sites make their money on ad revenue, which incentivizes overly eye-catching and controversial stories to promote people to click. It is also good practice to look into the author of the piece you’re reading.
“[writers and scholars] teis to institutions and their own interests are really revealing about their own reliability and their own perspective,” said librarian Robyn Westrem.
Using websites like All Sides or apps like Media Glass that present the bias and integrity of news sources can be a quick and easy way to judge the quality of information. Media Glass gives letter grades to hundreds of news outlets on their overall integrity. CNN gets a C and Fox News gets a F.
“I think a lot of people, when they are searching for information, tend to search for information that already confirms the biases that they have and so finding that information is easier and more comfortable.” said librarian Dora Wagner.
One way of avoiding bias that can be overlooked is to use a library for researching.
“One of the grand ideals of a library is that it is representative of a broad range of perspectives from trustworthy and reliable publishers or publications… When you go into a library, like ours, you are finding something that’s far more representative and that has already been, to some degree, vetted” said Wagner.
There is also a good amount of humility that is important to have when doing research. The world is often presented in black and white but only becomes more grey when you research.
“Humility needs to be a part of the search because if you cut yourself off from possibilities, you won’t learn as much” said Westrem.
You won’t always be right and accepting that is important, if your goal is to find truth.