This past election made searching and weeding through news an almost full time job for all of us (or, at least it should have—if it didn’t then maybe you should look at your own viewing habits more closely). I found that I had buried myself in my echo-chamber bunker—my free echo-chamber bunker—and was getting my news from only a few sources. Yes, The New York Times was (and remains) one of them. I would max out my 10 free stories in a few days, and then have to subsist on headlines. I eventually found the hypocrisy too much to bear: I would click and click and click, accessing story after story horizontally through the News app on my iPhone, all while not contributing to the organization that was digging and interviewing and pushing back.
To that end, I have pledged to get my news from a diversity of sources in order to help curtail the possibility of “fake news” infiltrating my brain. (On a side note, “fake news” must be the word of the year by now, right?) This means looking at (gasp!) news outlets that are more “conservative” in nature, because god forbid we see something there we don’t like. (FYI “I don’t like it” does not equal “Is not true.” Facts are facts people; facts are not opinions.) But, I also pledge to actually SUPPORT news and those who go out and report it. We cannot hope for an honest, open, in-depth are press without contributing something (anything) ourselves.
News outlets get things wrong. I understand that. That just means they should look at their failings, figure out how they screwed up, and do better next time. Failings shouldn’t negate all the important, hard work they do; it shouldn’t negate the stories, interviews, imbedded dangerous firsthand accounts, and muckraking that is so desperately needed. Free press is a right, but it is one that must be claimed by the people. To be a lazy, unread, uninformed citizenry is to allow injustice, oppression, and the silencing of voices—no matter their gender, creed, religion, sexual orientation or ethnicity—to occur. So go out and actually pay for your news. I don’t care from whom, just support journalism. Because judging by the recent events it is clearly under attack.