J347 – Assignment 1

In recent years, I have mostly tuned out of the news.  I’m no longer up to date with politics like I once was, and I usually only pay attention to major news stories that catch my eye.  For instance, when Russia invaded Ukraine I read quite a few articles to keep myself up to date, but after a couple weeks, I distanced myself from the news yet again.  Recently though, I have been reading articles I see about a 10-year-old boy from Milwaukee accused of fatally shooting his own mother after she refused to buy him a virtual reality headset.  I’m interested to see how his trial and sentencing will go considering his very young age.  I don’t even follow many news stories from my hometown of Kenosha, but if I were to, I would probably start by looking through the Kenosha News.

I don’t typically go to particular news sites to browse stories, but when I do, I usually look at BBC, The New York Times, or one of my favorites, NPR.  I enjoy NPR due to its left-leaning, but mostly unbiased journalistic style, and they usually report on things that interest me.  I will consume news through whatever medium the information I want is being conveyed, but I do prefer video or text over audio stories.  With text, I can easily re-read something confusing and visualize presented facts better, and video is a very organized way to visually convey information, too.  I also usually have subtitles on for videos to help me comprehend and remember what a speaker is saying, and I feel like I do not get that same comprehension through audio stories.  I also do not really read blogs or listen to podcasts.

I have never posted a comment on a news site or article, nor have I contacted a reporter.  I have, however, worked as a journalist for the Royal Purple, the UW-Whitewater campus newspaper, so I have submitted content to that website and have had some stories featured in the print issue.

At times, social media will lead me to the news.  I may see a friend or a news company post a breaking news story that piques my interest, and then I will follow a link to an article or find it myself on Google.  Most of the time, this is when I am on Instagram or Facebook.  I don’t use Twitter; I have never really been interested in it.  Before I follow any links, though, I will check and see who posted it to see if it is someone who I trust to share legitimate articles.

In order to determine whether a story is reliable or not, I will cross-reference it with other articles about the same event or topic.  Any inaccuracy is usually revealed at this stage, but if I am still suspicious, I will take it to a fact-checking website like Snopes to get more perspectives on its validity.  I’m sure that I have encountered articles that were misleading or flat out false, but I cannot remember any specific ones.

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