I've always been a big 1st Amendment guy. Freedom of speech is foundational. We cannot and must not restrict that freedom in the U.S. At the same time, in the news business, the ideal is objectivity. Of course, humans being what they are, objectivity is difficult. Add in the profit motive and the need to boost ratings, and you have a recipe for bias. Another thing that sways the news is who owns various outlets. Check out these two graphics. They are pretty shocking. Virtually everything is owned by just a few big conglomerates. It would be a real stretch to believe that these big companies aren't influencing the news to their advantage.
So what to do to stay informed. Well, here's another graphic that you can use to decide where you want to get your information. The problem for most people is that they have a lot going on in their lives and they just revert to something they are familiar with or someone has told them is a good source. And then pretty soon you're getting all your information from one source and believing everything they say. Since I'm an old retired dude and have a bit of extra time on my hands I try pretty diligently to look at the spectrum. I review Drudge and Vox. I look at Fox and CNN. For the MSM I generally favor CBS but look at the others. I've found that The Economist is a straight shooter and I read the Wall Street Journal every day. Real Clear Politics and The Hill are good sources of political info. I like National Review but have to take it with a grain of salt. And then there are a number of blogs I scan. They are listed on the right side of this blog. So depending on your time, take a look at as many as you can. Get different perspectives. And for goodness sakes, don't believe everything your read or hear. Everyone has an agenda. Everyone has a spin. Everyone is trying to sell something. Be smart.
Update: Just saw this little beauty of a video and had to share. Now, given my political proclivities you'd probably guess that I don't agree with these little darlin's. They've clearly been brainwashed to provide a particular biased viewpoint. I guess it's no big deal and most thinking people would recognize this hit job for what it is. But there are two things that are strikingly objectionable. First, it's almost child abuse. To exploit children to spout political propaganda is shameful, whichever side does it. And second, this video is a product of NBC News and is on their website. Think about that. NBC News. Unbelievable!