Author: Kaleb Johnson | Student, Living Education – Charlotte, 2022-23
Estimated Reading Time: 2 min.
Is There Good News?
Mr. McNair began his forum for the LE students by asking, “Should we watch the news?” As Christians, we want to limit the involvement we have in the politics and concerns of this world, yet the proverbs admonish us to increase knowledge and pay attention to what is going on around us (Proverbs 1:5), and Christ told us to watch for the end of the age (Luke 21:36). We rely on news sources to deliver us this information.
Bias of the News
Mr. McNair then delved into the subject of news sources by asking, “Where are we getting our news from?” Younger audiences get their news from social media and online sources, primarily. On the other hand, older audiences often use television. These different news sources are fully aware of their audience’s demographics, and they use that information to provide articles and segments that appeal to their viewers. If we are not careful, we can be entertained by the news and not educated. We must seek knowledge and not foolishness (Proverbs 15:14). In addition to just demographic divides, news sources have political and topical divides. Some only address politics or economics, but every source presents information through the lens of what they deem relevant.
How to Get Good News
The challenge we face is sifting through incomplete, biased, and inaccurate information. We have to understand the political and topical bias of the news sources we use. As a result, it is necessary to vary our sources from time to time to ensure we are getting multiple perspectives. Mr. McNair then outlined four tips for us to bear in mind when approaching the news:
- Understand the system. The news is meant to get attention and keep it.
- Find the source. Whenever possible, look at the original source. Oftentimes, one piece of information is posted on one news source and then is proliferated around due to that initial publicity. Examine the bias of the source as well.
- Understand the slant. No news source is right from God’s perspective, and they often have an obvious and intentional slant on the information they present and the light in which they present it.
- Know yourself. Examine your personal bias. Be aware of what concepts appeal to you and how they can affect your intake of knowledge.
If we apply these four principles, we can find knowledge through the foolishness, narratives, slants, and systematic influences that exist in news sources, and we can be wise and fulfill our admonition to always watch.