One of my readers on my Substack newsletter, Trenchant Observations, has posed a very important question. My answer and advice are reproduced below:
You ask, “How do we know what is real news and what is speculation or even fake news?”
This is a very important question.
My own answer and advice are as follows:
1. Draw on your education and your entire life experience in choosing the sources from which you get your news.
2. Curate yourself your own selection of news stories to read. Don’t rely on a news feed, which is in effect curated by someone else.
3. Choose one or more newspapers you trust, and get your news from reading them.
4. Think about what you read. Does it make sense? Is it consistent with news stories from other sources which you trust?
Informing ourselves about the nature of reality that surrounds and affects us is one of the most important things that we do. Our lives and our futures depend on having an accurate understanding of this reality.
Don’t be passive, and expect someone else to bring the news to you. Go looking for it yourself. What you find, actively pursuing accurate news and the truth, will serve you well, and repay you many times over for the small investment of time and effort that you make.
It should also be deeply satisfying, when we use our natural curiosity to investigate what is going on in the world.
Take note and remember the sources of any news that seems important. Consider making written notes.
Written sources are usually the best, as they can be checked and rechecked. Write down the names of good documentaries on TV or radio and when and where you saw them. Always seek confirmation of what you see and hear on radio and TV in written sources.
This is how I try to find real news and distinguish it from speculation or even “fake news”.
If you choose to read newspapers you trust, you won’t see much real “fake news”.
The Spirit of Voltaire
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