After reading not one, but two poorly written and researched articles about someone I know, I thought I’d write an article giving some advice to news readers everywhere. (Especially the ones that read and comment on articles in the poorly written Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.) I should put in a disclaimer: I’ve been known to do the same things I’m writing about. I’m not perfect. No one is.
1) Don’t believe everything you read. If the article quotes only one set of people and they are of the same opinion, the article is biased. The exceptions are completely fact based articles. Example, if everyone says it rained yesterday, you’re probably safe in believing that it rained.
2) Don’t believe everything you watch. Unless it says, this is the complete and unedited video, you’re probably watching a heavily edited video. If it’s edited, you’re not getting the full story. Try to find an unedited copy before taking sides.
3) Refrain from making ignorant comments when it is clear you haven’t received the whole story. And, if you must comment, try not to sound like an ignorant jackass. Have you heard of spell check? Do you understand the usage of periods and other punctuation? If not, then keep it to yourself. And, for goodness sake, read your comments out loud before submitting them.
4) Think. If something isn’t adding up, it probably isn’t true.
I think these should hold you for a while.