We can learn a lot about the need for multiple sources from the total solar eclipse story.
Like many news stories – some of the information was right, some was wrong. Whether you read the paper or watched your favorite meteorologist, you heard about 100 different ways to watch it. We heard things like go to Home Depot or Lowe’s and get welder’s glasses. Then we heard the welder’s glasses had to be #10s or they have to be #12s. It kept changing. I went to about four different Home Depot and Lowe’s the last 3 or 4 days (we just bought a new house and we’ve been regulars at the home improvement stores) and they were all sold out. ALL the grades of welder’s glasses. Probably the first time in history. Therefore, there were people looking up at the sun with the wrong glasses. Glasses that may give them a false sense of safety.
What’s scary, is there was not one message out in the media the last couple of weeks about what kind of glasses or what kind of cereal box or what kind of thing you can create or make to watch the eclipse with you and your kids (not your pets). In fact, NASA was trying to keep up with it all so it could let people know what was the real info to follow.
My husband works in healthcare and he was at a conference last week in Orlando where he was given glasses that were supposed to be great for the eclipse. A couple of days later – he received an email from the conference organizers telling all attendees to throw away the glasses. They weren’t safe. Even health care experts gave their people the wrong glasses.
I ended up working all day and just watched the eclipse live on WGN-TV. I knew the most passionate person would be meteorologist, Tom Skilling. I was NOT disappointed. In fact, he made news covering the story. He was so happy, overwhelmed and tired – that he started crying. You can read more about that here. I worked with Tom at WGN. Tom is exactly what you see on TV. He’s LOVES his job. He LOVES people. He stops and talks to every person who calls his name. There are not a lot of people in TV like Tom.
The solar eclipse story is a good example of why you, as an informed citizen, need to watch many, many, many sources of news.
Look what happened with the coverage of Charlottesville, Virginia. It hit on a Friday night and into Saturday when there’s less TV news coverage. So if you jumped over to Twitter for your news and only follow a certain kind of person — you would think it’s one story while it could be something entirely different.
Journalists covering the racial violence in Charlottesville struggled to find the right words to tell you the story. Some sanitized it. Some didn’t show the most hateful pictures. They censored much of what you saw on TV. A big reason is you can’t show “bad” words on TV.
So you – as a viewer – don’t get the big picture.
This is why you have to watch, read, follow and listen to many sources of news.
If you just watch FOX News, it’s really important to watch CNN a few times a week. Throw in some BBC too so you can see another viewpoint on what’s going on here in the United States and in other countries.
If you follow people like David Duke (for example) you saw his brand of news Saturday. I follow him because I like to see what EVERYONE is saying. I like to see the news people are disseminating, so I can understand when people have certain thoughts or beliefs. I don’t censor my viewing or reading. I WANT to know what’s being shared. I want to know what people think. People who aren’t like me. People who don’t have the same beliefs. If I have a better picture of the world – I personally feel that I can be a better person. I can better understand how people feel and why they feel a certain way.
Here’s a really quick way or you to get a lot of news first thing each morning from many sources. Click here —–> theSkimm.
Don’t censor yourself by watching one news channel or reading one source of news on the web. Broaden your sources so you can be a more informed person and possibly, a more understanding person.
If you watch or read only one source of news and believe it — you could get a lot more than just retina damage.
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