Sifting Junk for Junk

Matt Thompson at Newsless says:

I’m beginning to question an assumption I’ve never really articulated, but always held.

I’ve long assumed that if you followed the news, the stories behind the headlines would become plain. By reading your newspaper over time, you’d develop a high-level understanding of the issues. You’d have an idea of the characters involved, the dilemmas at hand, the consensus facts, etc.

You’ll be armed with the information you need to make decisions on how to advance your society.

I’m taking the most linear approach possible to following the news: reading years of relevant stories strung end-to-end in order.

I should be the Platonic ideal of the well-informed citizen.


No matter the effort, many times following the news doesn’t work.

Reporting takes time and money. While newspapers teeter and broadcasters cut costs and consolidate, we may not have the full story in front of us. As a society, we must keep this in mind.