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By Bob Valen 

News is like food – nutritious or junky

 


Morgan Spurlock, a documentary filmmaker, went on a 30-day McDonald’s fast-food diet and he ended up with health problems. He documented his feast in his film “Super-Size Me.” When we satisfy our daily news diet, it can be analogous to fast food. Add some social media and a boatload of websites that many feed themselves and we have an even bigger diet of “news.” It all boils down to our personal choice and acceptance. We all live in a self-created bubble of some sort. We surround ourselves with what reinforces our biased ideas. Like our diet, we select what we like in news sources because it tastes good.

Actually, we all should be encouraging family and friends to look beyond their personal news and social media diet. With the ease of internet access, finding other news offerings is there at your fingertips. Examining other reliable sources and opinions can eliminate preconceived ideas, if one is willing. Be wise, of course; there are purposely-designed junk news sources all over. Of course, some may choke on the air outside their personal bubble and will return. Although, remember what happened to Spurlock and his junk food diet.

People ask, “Is there bias in news?” To say no is ridiculous. Certainly, there are biases, and it comes in varying doses — some really blatant, finger-in-your-eye type stuff or skillful deception, while others are born out of pure ignorance.

Nonetheless, we all should be pleased that even today, with the constant, neverending flood of information, there are news outlets that produce stories that are investigated, intensely researched and have numerous levels of sourced material that ultimately tell truth — stories that expose us to reality. Find those healthy sources to add to your news diet.

Finally, let’s be thankful for our First Amendment — everything that is stated in it.

Bob Valen

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