Here's a good list of questions I found on FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting), and even their article claims that media are too conservative in most cases and that progressive issues aren't given fair time.
- Who are the sources?
- Is there a lack of diversity?
- From whose point of view is the news reported?
- Are there double standards?
- Do stereotypes skew coverage?
- What are the unchallenged assumptions?
- Is the language loaded?
- Is there a lack of context?
- Do the headline and story match?
- Are stories on important issues featured prominently?
I don't mean to criticize anyone. I am guilty of spending more time clicking on Facebook links that I do perusing valid news sources. I read and watch news that is owned by biased interest groups. News as entertainment is so much easier to find than news on issues that impact society. Information spin has become as refined an art as advertising. These people are professionals, and they know how to influence us. We MUST resist.
We need to practice our discernment skills. We need to question everything. "Voted the best car in its class" means nothing -- Voted on what basis? Who voted? Was the vote skewed? Did the car manufacturer create the survey? I saw an ad last week that said some car was voted the longest lasting of 2016 models. WTF?
Fox News is the least trusted by liberals, and MSNBC the least trusted by conservatives. We trust British news sources more than American. Local news programs tend to be the least skewed, but are influenced by their owner networks, and even by whoever posted a story in the first place (Associated Press, Reuters, etc.). We have to open our eyes to the bias, the tricks, the spin, the perspective, the source. We have to question everything. In this age of shrinking news budgets and increasing social media, we have to dig deeper than when our information came from encyclopedias and researchers.
We can't make responsible choices for the good of our country as a whole if we don't understand what's really going on.