Media selection during social crises

I find that when the world doesn’t seem that exciting, I tend to read and listen to the media I’ve learned to trust. I might think of other kinds of information sources I’d be curious to find, but I never try very hard to locate them.

When the world seems to be going through convulsions, though, I focus pretty intensely on seeking out coverage of a given situation and look to see who seems to be doing a good job of it, and when I find find people then that I find helpful to listen to, I add them to my trusted sources. Sometimes they get removed from my list a while later once I’ve seen more of them and judged them to be less helpful than I first thought, but often my best finds end up taking a more permanent place in my set of trusted media sources.

Part of the reason too why my list of trusted media sources will grow is that I will often have a point of view about the situation, so I will be quickly able to discard sources that aren’t compatible with that view, and I will have particular questions not answered in the places I often go looking, and so I can quickly discard any that aren’t getting me closer to remedying the ignorance I’ve found in myself and my sources.

I think these sorts of social crises are a natural thing. I’m glad they don’t happen constantly without interruption. But I’m also somewhat glad that I do find them, because I think afterwards I often emerge with more knowledge and a richer inflow of new knowledge, from which, in time, I might be able to discover further important questions for which I need to search out answers.

As my library of trusted sources grows, I think I am becoming more competent at learning about and thinking about the big events that happen in the world. For now, my opinions are largely those I hear from those I’ve learned to trust, but it is good to know enough about the situations that I can even have intelligible and supportable opinions on them.

Eventually my hope is that, by learning from these people who are more knowledgeable than I am, I can get to the point where I’m able to form my own informed opinions about new situations rapidly when they arise. For the time being, I enjoy learning and being shaped by those who seem to have proven to be most insightful about current events.

That certainly feels to me like something to be grateful for.

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