HISTORY. Or just, the news. When does the one become the other?
A hundred years ago the news was on the page of a newspaper, heard through the local telegrapher’s office, or announced at public meetings or church assemblies…or through gossip. Radio hadn’t quite arrived in 1916, and TV was a long way off, to say nothing of the Internet. So the news usually came at you…relatively slowly.
Is it slow anymore? Hardly.
What do we owe our intelligence as consumers of this deluge of digital, video, audio or printed matter? We owe ourselves and we owe others the truth.
How do you get the truth from three minute video news stories. Twitter and Facebook posts of a handful of words? Instagram images that tell but one single thread of what ought to be a fully woven story?
TAKE YOUR TIME, QUERY YOUR SOURCES
FIND your way, slow the news down. Digest the story. Then consume another. Look at a story or news item as if with facets. Each side should be explored and there are usually even more than two posited sides of the story. Find those facets and analyze them by a standard of truth.
Find out the bias of the report you’ve just read or watched. Learn about the writer, the news agency, what is their political interest, what is their national interest? Analyze the thread of logic. Seek wisdom, and if there is none, find out why.
Go to news sources outside your country, not because they are always right, but because as was wisely written…
“…in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” (Proverbs 11:14).
THERE is truth. You have to assume that somewhere, buried beneath the landslide of blather it exists. But to find it, you often have to put your own self interest aside. The greater good…what is it? The rule of law…what supports it? What precedents lead to good government? Good leadership?
And remember…after you find the truth, don’t let go of it.
History is made in the stacking up of events. News stories are made, in many cases, in the moment and for a moment’s notice.
Seek the long term. Find the history.
– Amanda Stiver