OPINION–How to find truth in a sea of news

She died alone in a cell at 16. Officials said they were devastated—not that they did anything wrong.”

“Hospitals have failed to protect workers from rape, robbery and homicide.”

Unbiased news sources that appear to be reliable like The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post can have biased headlines such as the ones above.

These headlines speak to the police brutality problem that is circulating the United States, portraying it in a negative light. It is difficult to not have an opinion on this matter, but by including the point of view of police officers, this news source could make their article more holistic. The other headline portrays that hospitals have “failed”, only covering one side of the story.

Although bias exists in the media no matter what, you as the reader have the ability and the power to find the real truth. Knowing both sides of the truth and making sure that you have the whole truth are very important to make sure that fake news and biased headlines don’t spread. Here are some tips to finding truth in what can be biased media.

The presence of more than one perspective in a headline is a good indication of unbiased news. If the news seems too out-there to be true, research a bit more before believing it blindly to make sure you aren’t just reading a reporter’s bias, twisting (or even creating) fact. Looking at multiple news sources that are reliable and looking at other pieces that the news sources have written are great ways to find out what their bais is before basing an opinion off of their stories.

However, it is harder to spot bias in an article than in a headline. Authors pick their intended audience and tailor the facts they present to the reader to ensure that their article does not seem biased.

Fact checking is one of the ways to make sure that you are getting the correct information. Spotting out any biased sentences within an article is a surefire way to see if the article presents bias. For example, during the last week of the 2020 election season, both candidates began to bash each other with vigor to try to swing independents or voters from the opposing side.

Both candidates proceeded with undesirable behavior, leaving voters to migrate to other news sites to find the whole truth. The reader can tell how biased the article is by the amount of positive and negative items about each candidate.

To find reputable sources with little to no bias, you might do a bit of research. For example, if you are reading an article about politics, check the facts against another article to make sure that you have all sides and not just the one you wish to hear.

Another way to seek reliable news is to gather it from sources outside of the United States, such as NPR, which is a fantastic unbiased source, or the BBC. The Wall Street Journal, a business magazine, is unbiased in regular news, but once you read the opinion pieces, the bias leans more towards the right, or is specifically geared towards one group of people. NPR news is great for factual information; however, their opinion pieces lean more towards the left.

Reading both sides of a story is one of the most beneficial ways that you can receive your news. Reading both sides can ensure that you are not looking at a story and basing an opinion off of a single article, but rather educating yourself further with all the information.

One of the best things you can do to protect yourself against the bias in the media is to learn how to identify bias and find ways to get to the heart of the truth. It is essential to use these tips to ensure that you are getting the news with unbiased information:
Fact check with multiple sources
Look into the source and its history
If it sounds fake or unrealistic, trust your gut and double check
Look for multiple perspectives