“When we’re on the Internet we very rarely look at a front page. We mostly look at what’s on our feed. And what goes into a feed isn’t controlled by experts. It’s often controlled by our worst instincts. It turns out when the ‘hive mind’ decides what’s on the front page, it becomes drama and opinion and controversy and demonization of the other and self-congratulation. And thus the hot takes have gotten so hot, I’m worried the whole country’s going to catch fire.” —Hank Green
I completely understand where Hank is coming from.
News outlets are laying off experienced and knowledgeable journalists by the thousands every year and shuttering newspapers in communities that desperately need solid coverage. To stay afloat, publishers are using clicks/ratings as measures of success, and dedicating more resources to what’s trending rather than in-depth investigation and technological innovation. Even under these difficult conditions, many in the mainstream media are still fighting to shine a light on the machinations of the rich and powerful.
Yet to maintain control over society, the titans of business and government hide their dealings behind closed doors. These men and women utilize bureaucracy to withhold vital information, eliminate regulation that allows for the free-flow of ideas and use misdirection to obfuscate the truth and foment distrust. They’ve become trained practitioners — and sometimes owners — of partisan hype. Or, they hire experts who can spin their talking points into coverage that plays into confirmation bias.
For the past 27 years, I’ve honed my skills as a journalist to better serve the readers’ needs. While the rest of America sleeps, I investigate, question, critique, edit, fact-check and report the news. I also consume vast amounts of information from a wide variety of sources. In the spirit of transparency, here is my daily media diet:
The Washington Post
The Los Angeles Times
The Boston Globe
The New Hampshire Union-Leader
The Concord Monitor
The New Yorker
New York Magazine
Mother Nature Network
The Hollywood Reporter
Facebook, both my personal feed and this page of more than 175 news sources
Twitter, both my personal feed and this list of more than 1,500 journalists and outlets
This is simply my starting point. Each night, I launch a browser and open these many tabs, but I don’t stop there. I also conduct searches, follow links and travel down rabbit holes looking for… well, interesting stories. The more informed I am, the better I’m able to help readers avoid getting caught up in the fiery hot takes of the hive mind.
As always, I’m here to serve you.
Now, I encourage you to dive in. Set aside your biases. Open your mind. Be curious and explore. The more you learn, the better off our world will be.